Over 500 new jobs from food to finance created
More than 500 new jobs have been announced at 24 home-grown businesses and a restaurant chain.
Start-up companies in Dublin, Kildare, Wicklow, Waterford, Offaly and Cork are to take on 445 additional staff over the next three years with backing from the Enterprise Ireland agency.
And the Nando's fast-food line is to open two new outlets in Dublin city centre creating 65 jobs in the next few months.
Richard Bruton, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, said Ireland needs an indigenous engine of growth to revive the economy.
"If we are to rebuild the economy and create the jobs of the future in Ireland, we must not only continue to attract high-end multinational companies, but we must also crucially ensure that more high potential small businesses can establish and expand here," he said.
"Many of these companies are operating in precisely the innovative sectors that the Government is targeting for growth.
"My plan to create an indigenous engine of economic growth will ensure that Government actions are directed towards ensuring that more companies like these can establish and grow and provide the basis for Ireland's economic recovery."
More than half the 445 jobs created with the backing of Enterprise Ireland will be in the capital.
The companies recruiting are involved in bio-tech and medical technology, food, life sciences and financial services, as well as information and communications technology and other niche areas.
The jobs boost is part of Enterprise Ireland's High Potential Start-Up programme.
Meanwhile, the Nando's expansion will see two new peri-peri chicken restaurants in Mary Street and St Andrew Street in Dublin city centre in September and November.
Alan Snyman, Nando's regional managing director, Ireland, said: "In opening these two restaurants we are reaffirming our commitment to Ireland and are very confident that with the creation of 65 new jobs, our two new restaurants will prove to be as successful as the Nando's story itself."