Dragon fired up by forum to promote entrepreneurship
THE GOVERNMENT has launched an Entrepreneurship Forum led by 'Dragons' Den' investor Sean O'Sullivan, tasked with developing a national entrepreneurship policy.
The forum's members include inventor of the text message Joe Cunningham, Worky.com founder Ray Nolan and TanOrganic head Noelle O'Connor.
Central Bank research shows that two-thirds of all new jobs are created by start-up companies.
The forum will meet regularly over the next few months to prepare a national policy for fostering entrepreneurship, to be included in the 2014 Action Plan for Jobs. A public consultation process for this policy began last month, receiving 70 submissions.
"There is a clear and urgent need for the people of Ireland to make more jobs," said Sean O'Sullivan. "This may seem impossible, like some kind of fantasy, that jobs can be created out of thin air.
"But that's what entrepreneurship is, creating opportunity and economy out of courageous people discovering and creating market needs, and filling them. If not us, who? If not now, when?"
At the launch, Jobs Minister Richard Bruton highlighted the government schemes currently available to start-ups: microfinance funds, seed and venture capital funds and seed company tax relief, though there has been a relatively low take-up for the tax relief.
Mr O'Sullivan said that more government programmes are not the answer to encouraging entrepreneurship. "Start-ups are funded by customer demand. The challenge is to find and fill a market gap in a way that doesn't require much funding. Funding from family and friends is the primary way people fund their businesses when they are just getting started," he said.