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Enterprise Ireland pumps €28m into Irish start-ups in 2021


Enterprise Ireland CEO Leo Clancy

Enterprise Ireland CEO Leo Clancy

Enterprise Ireland CEO Leo Clancy

Enterprise Ireland invested more than €28m in over 125 start-up companies last year.

The firms supported included 82 high potential start-ups approved for over €18m in funding, with 24 of the firms led by women and 11 of those emerging from academic research

More than €2m was approved for 43 companies under the Competitive Start Fund, with 16 of those women-led.

Irish tech firms founded by women raised €230m in funding last year, over twice as much as in 2020, according to start-up hub TechIreland.

Enterprise Ireland takes equity stakes in companies through its Competitive Start Fund (CSF) and High Potential Start-Up (HPSU) funding, alongside the Department of Enterprise.

“As we emerge out of an incredibly challenging two-year period, it is important to recognise the extraordinary growth and accomplishments of our domestic start-ups in Ireland,” said Taoiseach Micheál Martin.

“I commend anyone across the country who has taken the leap and started a business. I have seen the enormous resilience of Irish start-ups and I admire the tenacity of every Irish entrepreneur leading Ireland towards a future where innovation is front and centre.”

He was speaking as more than 150 entrepreneurs and representatives from early stage businesses and companies supported in 2021 gathered for the Enterprise Ireland Start-Up Showcase 2022 event at the Aviva Stadium on Thursday.

“Supporting companies on their growth journey means supporting local and national economies, as well as job creation for future generations,” said Enterprise Ireland chief executive Leo Clancy.

The state development agency helped create a 11,911 net new jobs in 2021 in the firms it supports, bringing the number of people working for domestic companies to 207,894 last year.

That compares to a record 29,000 new jobs created by multinationals last year, bringing employment in firms backed by the state development agency IDA Ireland to 275,000 in 2021, its highest ever level.

Domestic firms were bolstered by billions of euros in government Covid supports last year, with Enterprise Ireland funnelling an extra €61.6m to 341 of its 5,000 members to help them deal with the pandemic.

In 2020, the agency paid out more than €1bn in total to support Irish industry, almost three times what it did in 2019.

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