Tuesday 23 January 2018

Enterprise Ireland to help start-ups create 1,500 jobs over next three years - Bruton

Last year 81 startups were supported by the Enterprise Ireland Competitive Start fund
Last year 81 startups were supported by the Enterprise Ireland Competitive Start fund
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

Business development agency Enterprise Ireland will help 102 Irish startups to create 1,500 new jobs over the next three years, Jobs Minister Richard Bruton said.

Last year 81 startups were supported by the Enterprise Ireland Competitive Start fund, which gives early-stage funding to new businesses.

Mr Bruton said Enterprise Ireland has been at the heart of a journey “which is moving away from the sort of speculation that was rewarded to focusing on enterprise.”

“Moving away from property to focus on innovation, moving away from debt to focus on competitiveness, that’s what’s at the heart of the success that I think Enterprise Ireland is now creating,” he said.

Mr Bruton said a CSO report showing Ireland was the fifth most expensive EU country in which to live in 2013 was a residue from the Celtic Tiger years when we were the second most expensive country in Europe”.

“In the intervening years our rate of inflation has come down much more rapidly than the rest of Europe so we are improving our ranking. In terms of our competitiveness generally, our unit wage costs have improved by about 20pc and the growth of a lot of Irish companies is off the back of a much more competitive base.

“We always have to be alert to the competitive challenges that we face,” he said.

Separately, the Irish Venture Capital Association (IVCA) announced that Irish SMEs raised €401m from venture capital investors in 2014, a 41pc jump on the previous year.

“The Irish venture capital community continues to be the main source of funding for Irish innovative SMEs both through direct investment and as the local lead investor for international syndicates who invested €200m in this period,” IVCA chairman John Flynn said.

Around an eighth of the funds came from Silicon Valley-based investors, which IVCA director general Regina Breheny called  “a tremendous validation of Irish technology.”

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