Fine Gael Meath West TD and Chair of the Oireachtas Jobs Committee, Damien English, has today (Thursday) said that the Government must constantly strive to remove barriers to entrepreneurship. Deputy English was speaking at the launch of the Bank of Ireland Start-up Awards 2014 in Dublin.
The awards are open to start-up companies across Ireland. This morning’s event was also addressed by leading Irish entrepreneur, Dragon’s Den and Start-up Awards judge Gavin Duffy.
“I agree with the Minister for Jobs, Richard Bruton TD, when he says that ‘in Ireland we have great entrepreneurs, we just don’t have enough of them.’ If we want to push ahead with economic recovery it is vitally important that entrepreneurs are encouraged and start-ups are supported.
“Entrepreneurs are driving our jobs recovery; two thirds of all new jobs created over the last five years were in start-ups. The signs that this trend will continue are positive; 32,000 people started new business in Ireland last year, the highest level of business creation since the onset of the economic crisis. And early indicators suggest that 2014 is going to be an even better year for the start-up sector.
“I have visited many tech, craft, food manufacturing, services and retail-based start-ups and I am always hugely impressed by the energy, drive and focus of the owner operators, who are determined to succeed, even if it comes after one or two falls along the way.
“These entrepreneurs need the support of their family, their community, their Government and their financial institution. For our part, Government can step up to the plate and remove some of the barriers people face in setting up their own business. We can better support an environment where business can flourish.
“That’s why through the Action Plan for Jobs 2014 the Government have set down a range of cross Departmental measures with the objective of supporting a greater level of start-ups. This includes the rapid roll out of Local Enterprise Offices; measures that will see more supports for young entrepreneurs; that will facilitate more extensive mentoring, peer learning and knowledge sharing; and initiatives to help those who have good ideas to turn them into viable businesses.
“The Bank of Ireland Start-up Awards recognise and reward Irish start-ups for their success in business both at home and abroad across a range of sectors including digital, food and drink, retail, social enterprise and export businesses. I would strongly urge anyone who is a start-up to apply for these awards, or if you know a start-up which is excelling, please considering nominating them.”