Plans to create 93,000 start-ups as economy improves

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton

Fionnan Sheahan

Women, young people and immigrants will be targeted in a new plan aimed at increasing the number of new businesses being set up.

Jobs Minister Richard Bruton's proposals aim to create an extra 93,000 jobs in start-up companies over the next five years.

The entrepreneurship plan will include distinct measures to promote female entrepreneurship, including:

l promotion of female role models;

l targeted events and awards;

l support for female entrepreneur networks;

l promotion of a dedicated area on corporate websites.

The plan also includes education programmes to promote entrepreneurship as a career option for young people, in schools, third level, fourth level and apprenticeships.

It also contains measures to promote entrepreneurship as an option among the young unemployed, including micro-loans and mentoring.

Central Bank research shows start-up companies in the first five years of existence account for two-thirds of all new jobs created in the country.

The new plan follows on from and draws on the report of the expert Forum on Entrepreneurship, chaired by successful businessman Sean O'Sullivan and published earlier this year.

It says doubling the amount of funds available to start-ups in Ireland from angel investment is key.

Angel investors are successful entrepreneurs who invest private funds in start-up businesses.

Analysis of successful start-up areas around the world, in places such as Silicon Valley, in California, point to the existence of angel networks.

A total of €90m is currently available in formal angel networks in Ireland.

But the plan also sets out a range of proposals for the taxation system to boost the prospects for start-ups, including changes to:

l share-based remuneration in private companies;

l seed capital scheme and employment and investment incentive;

l capital gains tax;

l income tax.

However, decisions on these changes will have to be made by Finance Minister Michael Noonan in Budget 2015 and into the future.

To encourage an entrepreneurship culture, Mr Bruton's department wants to see new business competitions on TV.

The producer of Dragon's Den and Celebrity Masterchef, Shinawil, is in discussions with RTE about recording and broadcasting a TV series which would track the finalists and broadcast the live final of Ireland's Best Young Entrepreneur competition.

The competition attracted 1,000 applications and is aimed at promoting entrepreneurship as a career option for young people.

The programme is being pitched as a cross between The Voice and Dragon's Den.

The key target in the new plan is to double the number of jobs coming from start-ups over the next five years, by increasing the number of start-ups by 25pc, the survival rate by 25pc, and the capacity to grow to scale by 25pc.