Entrepreneurship on the rise as a career choice

01 October, 2007

Mr Micheál Martin TD, Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment launched on 20th September 2007 the Irish Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Report for 2006.  This report found that Ireland remains one of the foremost countries in the EU in terms of early stage entrepreneurship. Overall, the research found that 7.4% of the adult population living in Ireland is actively planning or has recently established a new business.

Welcoming the report, Minister Micheál Martin said: "Irish society is highly supportive of entrepreneurs with the 2006 GEM report finding that over 70% of those surveyed believe entrepreneurship to be a good career choice. This positive disposition towards entrepreneurship, coupled with a highly responsive environment to the needs of enterprise at a national and local level is supporting the high level of entrepreneurship in Ireland".

Ireland is an entrepreneurial country. Entrepreneurship is an active career choice for many Irish people. Approximately 80,000 individuals in Ireland were involved in starting a new business between January 2003 and June 2006. This is nearly 3 in every 100 adults in the country (1:35).

In 2006 nearly 122, 000 Irish people were actively attempting to start a new business. This is nearly 5 in every 100 adults in the country (1:22).

There are 214, 000 Irish people who own and manage a business they started before 2003. This is nearly 8 in every 100 people in Ireland (1:13).

But, Ireland lags the most entrepreneurial of the OECD countries. While Ireland ranks 3rd highest in the EU in terms of early stage entrepreneurial activity (after Greece and the Czech Republic), Ireland lags the most entrepreneurial of OECD countries. The average early stage entrepreneurial rate in the top 4 OECD countries, Australia, Iceland, US and Norway is 10.6% compared to 7.4% in Ireland (1.4 times higher).

For further information, see the report on

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