More Irish women are entrepreneurs

16 July, 2008

FEARS about the economy did not halt entrepreneurial activity in Ireland last year, with one in 12 Irish adults planning or starting a business.

Entrepreneurial activity among Irish women was significantly higher than the European average of 4.3%, rising to 5.9% in 2007 from 4.2% in 2006.

This means more than 1,000 women set up a business each month last year, according to the latest Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) report.

The number of people investing in someone else’s start-up business was up 3.3% last year, resulting in 91,000 people investing in other people’s businesses in the previous three years.

Head of Entrepreneurship and Regions at Enterprise Ireland Brendan Flood said in a tougher global market, it is imperative that Ireland continues to produce and sustain high-growth companies that are capable of achieving the scale necessary to compete internationally.

The report showed more entrepreneurs focused on consumer related sectors — 44% — and less focused on transformative sectors such as construction and manufacturing (21%) than had been the case previously.

The report was launched yesterday by the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Mary Coughlan.

“Entrepreneurship is central to Ireland’s future economic, regional and social development, she said. “I am especially delighted to see a narrowing of the entrepreneurship gender gap, owing to a very significant increase in the number of women starting businesses.”

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