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Entrepreneurship Forum holds first meeting chaired by Sean O’Sullivan – Minister Bruton

27th June 2013 - Richard Bruton TD

Forum includes inventor of the SMS message, serial entrepreneurs in the tech, food and services sector and leading academic on entrepreneurship

67% of all new jobs are created by start-ups

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation today (Thursday) announced the membership of the new Government Entrepreneurship Forum, chaired by Dragon’s Den and Avego MD Sean O’Sullivan, which he has asked to provide recommendations on how to stimulate greater levels of start-up business in Ireland.

The members of the Forum include:

· Sean O’Sullivan, entrepreneur and investor (Chair)

· Joe Cunningham, serial telecoms/software entrepreneur, inventor of the SMS message

· Noelle O’Connor, entrepreneur behind TanOrganic

· Tom Keogh, entrepreneur behind Keogh’s Crisps

· Ray Nolan, serial software entrepreneur, including

· Daniel Ramamoorthy, representing local and international entrepreneur networks

· Tom Cooney, Professor of Entrepreneurship at DIT

· Representatives of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation and Enterprise Ireland

The Forum will meet regularly over the coming months before preparing a policy statement for Government on entrepreneurship, which it is intended, will contain discreet actions for inclusion in the 2014 Action Plan for Jobs. The initial membership of the Forum will be supplemented at different meetings with representatives and experts from different areas of the economy that can help the work of the Forum.

The Action Plan for Jobs commits to developing a National Entrepreneurship Policy Statement by the end of 2013, and recent Central Bank research shows that two thirds of all new jobs are created by start-ups. As part of the process of developing this new policy statement on Entrepreneurship, last month Minister Bruton held a public consultation process seeking submissions from people across the country on ways encouraging more people in Ireland to start businesses. More than seventy submissions were received from entrepreneurs, business organisations, members of the public and academics, which will form a starting point for the Forum’s work.

Speaking before the first meeting of the Forum, Minister Bruton said:

“67% of all new job-creation comes from businesses in the first five years of existence. That is why supporting entrepreneurship and start-up activity is a central part of our Action Plan for Jobs. Since taking office we have introduced a range of changes to support greater activity in this area, including a microfinance scheme and credit guarantee scheme to provide better access to finance, as well as establishing a network of first-stop shops in every county to make it easier for businesses to access supports.

“Other countries have successfully targeted and achieved high levels of entrepreneurial activity and success by start-up businesses. This in turn makes a major contribution to employment and economic growth. As we develop the next phase of our plan for entrepreneurship, I am keen to take advice and recommendations from the people who have actually done it, as well as from experts in the area.

“I am convinced that by developing and implementing an ambitious and realistic plan in this area we can deliver an increase in the numbers of entrepreneurs and in the number of successful start-ups, and make a major contribution to the jobs and growth we need”.

Speaking about the work of the Forum, its Chairman Sean O’Sullivan said;

“There is a clear and urgent need for the people of Ireland to make more jobs. This may seem impossible, like some kind of fantasy, that jobs can be created out of thin air. But that’s what entrepreneurship is, creating opportunity and economy out of courageous people discovering and creating market needs, and filling them. If not us, who? If not now, when?”

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