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GEM Entrepreneur Report Published

Around 32,000 entrepreneurs set up new businesses in Ireland last year, according to the findings of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) 2013. One in eleven of the adult population in Ireland now have some form of engagement in early-stage businesses.

The latest annual report is authored by Paula Fitzsimons of Fitzsimons Consulting and Dr Colm O'Gorman, Professor of Entrepreneurship at DCU Business School. Begun in 1999, the GEM study assessed 67 countries in 2013, comparing each across a range of variables.

In Ireland, GEM's research shows that the rate of early-stage entrepreneurial activity is at its highest since the onset of the recession. Moreover, those who indicated that they intend to start a business in the next three years increased significantly in 2013 and is now at its highest measured level in Ireland since 2000.

Ireland's level of early-stage entrepreneurial activity was measured at 9.2% in 2013, up from 6.1% in 2012 and enough to rank Ireland ninth among the EU-28 countries for startup endeavour. Interestingly, early-stage entrepreneurship is higher among immigrant groups (11%) than it is among the non-immigrant population (8.8%).

GEM research found that the majority of early-stage entrepreneurs in Ireland expect to become employers (85%), while 13% of them have, or expect to have, 75% or more of their customers in overseas markets. This is the 4th highest rate for

Innovation is high in Ireland also, with 27% of the products/services offered by early-stage entrepreneurs here considered as new to all customers. Four out of five adults in Ireland have a high regard for successful entrepreneurs (81%), while the level of perception of supportive media coverage about entrepreneurs in Ireland (60%) remains higher that the international averages across the OECD (51%), EU-28 (49%) and EU-15 (49%).

Necessity is not the driving force behind entrepreneurial activity either – only 19% of those polled said that they were turning towards setting up their own businesses out of necessity, down from 28% in 2012.

The rate of owner managers of established business is at its lowest rate (7.5%) since 2004, when it was 6.5%. However, the 2013 rate remains higher than the average across the OECD (6.6%), the EU-28 (6.4%) and EU-15 (6.6%).

Informal investor rates are also relatively low in Ireland, according to GEM findings, with the number of adults that reported investing in a business started by someone else static at 3.4%. (June 2014)

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