Monday 18 December 2017

Stephen Donnelly: Why we must rid entrepreneurs of debt

We have much to gain by creating a fertile environment for entrepreneurship,

STEPHEN DONNELLY

Have a guess what the average age is for founders of successful hi-tech companies in the United States. I reckoned about 26. Turns out it's 39. The inspired, mega-rich, 20-somethings are, it seems, the exception (which, let's face it, is good to hear).

The US leads the world in entrepreneurship, and Ireland is well placed to join it. We are rated by the World Bank as one of the easiest countries on earth to do business in. The International Chamber of Commerce ranks us as the 7th most open economy to trade.

We have a heap of fibre-optic cable both in the country and linking us to Europe and the US. Dublin is recognised as a global hub for web-based companies. Our quality of life makes it relatively easy to attract highly skilled foreigners (it may not feel like this for many at the moment, but Ireland last year ranked seventh in the world in the United Nations Human Development Index). And, of course, we have highly competitive corporation tax, with new tax incentives targeted at research and development.

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