Entrepreneurs are vital to the success of the Irish economy. The 2014 National Policy Statement on Entrepreneurship defined entrepreneurship as an individual’s creative capacity to identify an opportunity and pursue it in order to produce new value or economic success. The Policy Statement went on to say that entrepreneurship is a key element in the health and wellbeing of any thriving economy. The OECD agree, stating that SMEs and entrepreneurship are central to Ireland’s challenge of generating a broad-based growth and prosperity. The continued growth of our economy is highly dependent on entrepreneurs and the SMEs that they create, develop and grow.
The Report of the SME Growth Taskforce: SME and Entrepreneurship Growth Plan, which was published in January 2021 further to a commitment in the Programme for Government – Our Shared Future, sets out an ambitious long-term strategic blueprint for entrepreneurs and SMEs beyond COVID-19. It has been developed by an SME Growth Taskforce of entrepreneurs, business leaders and other individuals uniquely positioned to contribute to a long-term vision for the SME sector.
The Taskforce’s Growth Plan sets out a wide range of recommendations with long-term strategic relevance for SME and entrepreneurs, including measures to assist companies to start up, scale up, enhance their digital capabilities, and increase export activity. These recommendations were reviewed and are being taken forward, as appropriate, by the SME and Entrepreneurship Implementation Group.
There has been significant progress on implementation, particularly given the challenging economic environment over the last few years. The Taskforce brought a progress report to government in December 2022: SME and Entrepreneurship Taskforce 2022: Priority Actions Progress Report
The Taskforce continued its work throughout 2023 and submitted a progress report to government outlining its work during the year: SME and Entrepreneurship Taskforce 2023: Priority Actions Progress Report
Support for entrepreneurs
Mapping of support environment for entrepreneurs
The Department has compiled a mapping of supports for entrepreneurs around the country including funding opportunities, co-working, networking opportunities, accelerators, and supports for female entrepreneurs.
Supporting SMEs Online Tool
An online guide to increase awareness of the range of government supports for start-ups and small businesses. Answer the questions on supportingSMEs to find out which of the state supports might be a good fit for your business.