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New start-ups to create 1,600 jobs

A TOTAL of 92 new start-up companies supported by Enterprise Ireland aim to employ 1,600 new staff by the end of next year.

The companies have set a target of growing sales by €200m in three years, according to the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton.

A further 55 early stage entrepreneurs have been supported by the Enterprise Ireland Competitive Start Fund to test the market for their products and services. In the final quarter of 2011, the agency agreed to support 19 companies which have committed to creating 365 jobs by the of end 2013.

Mr Bruton said that the country needed to also support the creation of high-growth small businesses, as well as attracting multinational giants.

He said the Government, under its Action Plan for Jobs, had committed a series of targets for 2012.

"I am determined to achieve these ambitious targets so that we can create more high-growth indigenous companies and achieve the employment levels we so badly need," he said.

"We must now look to the future, and we have committed a series of ambitious targets, including supporting 95 of these companies in 2012, an increase of 50pc in the number of overseas entrepreneurs supported and an increase of 40pc in the number of new high potential start-ups arising as spin-outs from research."

Chairman of Enterprise Ireland Hugh Cooney said that the combination of critical early stage financing to entrepreneurs and a €10m start-up fund for overseas entrepreneurs to locate start-up businesses in Ireland were already "paying dividends".