Finder's fee of up to €4,000 for bringing business here
THE Government is offering a bounty of up to €4,000 per job for anyone who encourages a business to set up operations in Ireland for the first time.
It is planning to pay individuals involved in tipping off entrepreneurs about the merits of coming to Ireland.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny yesterday promised to unveil a detailed scheme to encourage people to recommend Ireland as a place to invest. The scheme could create about 5,000 jobs in five years, according to Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton.
The scheme will be open to anybody living anywhere in the world who encourages a company to set up operations in Ireland for the first time.
Both Irish people and foreigners will be rewarded if they put foreign organisations in touch with a new agency, which will then translate the leads into investment.
The Government is placing great emphasis on harnessing the Irish diaspora and expects many of the new jobs to be created by Irish people living abroad. It has dubbed the scheme the Diaspora Finder's Fee Initiative although it may also be called Connect Ireland.
The Government hopes the scheme will complement the IDA's existing operations. The IDA tends to target large multinationals rather than smaller firms.
But by opening up this "bounty" scheme to everybody, the Government believes that many small companies might be turned on to the possibilities of investing here.
"The IDA is one of the best organisations in the world," said Mr Bruton. "This is about extending their reach."
Those who might avail of the offer include, for example, a student working in a company overseas during the summer. If that company is seeking to expand then the student might recommend it gets in touch with the new agency to check out its options in Ireland.
Likewise a foreigner who is living here but who has contacts in their home nation might recommend Ireland to entrepreneurs.
In both cases they would be eligible to pick up the reward, although full details are yet to be announced.
Government sources said safeguards would be built into the programme to prevent fraud and ensure that the jobs created by new companies were sustainable. Officials also hope to establish a Global Irish Network to secure greater investment in Ireland and maximise opportunities from Irish people living overseas.