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GEM Report Reveals Strong Commitment to Entrepreneurship in Ireland

The latest Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) report, published, contains encouraging findings about entrepreneurship in Ireland.

Among the key findings of the global survey are:

  • 1 in 7 people in Ireland aspire to start a business in the next 3 years
  • Ireland ranks 3rd in Europe for entrepreneurs with ‘high jobs growth’ expectations
  • there is an increase in youth entrepreneurship – the proportion of 18 to 24 age group that are early-stage entrepreneurs was 16.4% in 2021, up from just 6.7% in 2018
  • Ireland has the third-highest rate for early-stage female entrepreneurs across European countries
  • more than 3 in 5 Irish entrepreneurs are trying to minimise the environmental impact of their business
  • 2 in every 3 entrepreneurs expect to use more digital technology to sell products or services in the next 6 months

Speaking as the report was published, Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar, said, “I believe that anyone with a good business idea, no matter their background, should be able to start and grow a company in Ireland. This report shows that entrepreneurial activity in Ireland is strong, that more and more people under the age of 24 are starting a business, that the gender gap is closing and more people are investing in start-ups. Still, there is plenty we need to work on. Government will examine this report in detail and work with entrepreneurs and business leaders to help more people both start and grow a company in Ireland.”

According to Enterprise Ireland CEO, Leo Clancy, “despite the challenges of recent years the GEM report reveals a positive picture of entrepreneurship in Ireland. Just over 10% of early-stage Irish-based entrepreneurs are ‘born global’ with more than 75% of revenue coming from customers outside of Ireland. This places Ireland joint third in Europe on this measure. Enterprise Ireland will continue to support the exporting and job creation strategy of these internationally focused businesses while also working closely with other start-up businesses to encourage exporting potential and ambition across the ecosystem. It is also important to recognise the commitment to both sustainability and digital adoption revealed in the GEM report. These vital issues are core to Enterprise Ireland strategy to ensure Irish businesses continue to compete and win in international markets.”

The GEM adult population study was conducted in the summer of 2021. 2020 had been a skip year given the prevailing circumstances.

The Irish GEM team would like to thank the 2,000 members of the public who participated in the GEM survey and the entrepreneurs and expert informants that were consulted as part of this research project.

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