Why Ireland Needs an Entrepreneurship Policy

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The recent release of the Government’s ‘National Policy Statement on Entrepreneurship in Ireland’ was broadly welcomed by the business community as an important first step in enhancing entrepreneurial activity in Ireland. The document contains a vast array of actions that require to be taken and while some of the more critical assessments of the proposed actions might be deduced as being based on vested interests rather than objective analysis, all discussion on creating a stronger entrepreneurship culture in Ireland is ...

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Vibrant Apprenticeship Schemes Keep Youth Unemployment Down

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In recent weeks we have witnessed the joy and pain experienced by young people (and their families) when the results of the Leaving Certificate and CAO points were published. The heavy emphasis that Irish people place on third-level education was highlighted yet again and those left behind have to struggle with identifying alternative plans. Ireland is quite rightly proud of its high participation rates in third-level education. Indeed, an EU report earlier this year highlighted that Ireland had the highest rate ...

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Risk/Reward Balance Does Not entice Us To Start A Business

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Although Ireland has been experiencing challenging economic conditions, 37 per cent of Irish people stated that if they could choose between different kinds of jobs, they would prefer to be self-employed rather than be employed by a company (similar to the EU average). The survey, carried out by the European Commission in 2012, revealed that Irish people had a more positive view of entrepreneurs than their EU counterparts as 89 per cent of the population (compared with ...

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Cantillon 2013 – Entrepreneurial Reflections

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He was a banker who made his fortune through using his political and business connections to good effect, he was a speculator who made fortunes in various business dealings, he left behind a trail of debtors who pursued him with criminal charges and lawsuits, before he mysteriously vanished and turned-up unannounced in the Americas. No, this is not one of Ireland’s modern day bankers or property developers but the life story of Richard Cantillon, the Kerryman who first coined the ...

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Assisting Our Immigrant Firms Can Open Up the World

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The rapid transformation of Ireland’s demographic profile over the past decade through unprecedented levels of immigration has stimulated debate on the economic and social policy implications of the new multi-racial Ireland. One facet to this policy debate is the potential for non-Irish nationals to bolster business activity.

As foreign nationals currently constitute approximately 11pc of the Irish population, it is to be expected that their presence will increasingly come to be felt in terms of enterprise ownership. A 2008 nationwide survey ...

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We can’t win on price, so we need to use innovation for success

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On a recent trip to New Zealand, I was asked to participate in a business speed-dating event that was being organised by a local agency called Grow Wellington.

The purpose of the event was to invite local entrepreneurs with growth ambitions to meet a variety of international experts who could offer them advice regarding their business development.

People had five minutes to talk, then a bell sounded, and the entrepreneurs moved onwards to the next international expert.

The most noticeable feature of meeting ...

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Why Businesses Fail

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Establishing accurate data for the failure rates for small businesses is quite challenging as such information is not gathered cleanly in many countries, there are many ways of interpreting the existing data, and current reports show conflicting evidence. Research from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has highlighted that 66% of new establishments were still in existence 2 years after their birth, and 44% were still in existence 4 years after their establishment. These figures would appear to be a ...

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Why Owner-Managers Should Offer Equal Opportunities to People with Disabilities

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It is now widely recognised that people with disabilities suffer discrimination when it comes to employment opportunities. A report by the National Disability Authority in 2005 highlighted that the employment rate of people with disabilities aged 15 to 64 years was 37.1% while the corresponding figure for non-disabled people was 67%. An examination of employment rates by gender revealed that women have lower rates of employment than men, but that this was equally applicable to people with and without disabilities.

It ...

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Minority Entrepreneurship Benefits the Majority

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In recent times there has been an increasing level of media coverage dealing with the topic of minority entrepreneurship inIreland. The issue has been driven primarily by the influx of immigrants and the subsequent growth in new ventures by non-Irish nationals. The discussions have been startlingly weak in their perspectives of what minority entrepreneurship represents and the cause of such restrictions is born in the limited understanding that people have of the terms ‘entrepreneurship’ and ‘minority’.

Entrepreneurship is widely perceived to ...

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