EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change

Ireland: ERM CAR on 'Emerging forms of Entrepreneurship’

  • Observatory: EMCC
  • Topic:
  • Published on: 21 March 2011



About
Country:
Ireland
Author:
Tony Dobbins
Institution:

Disclaimer: This information is made available as a service to the public but has not been edited or approved by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. The content is the responsibility of the authors.

This ERM CAR examines emerging forms of entrepreneurship in Ireland as of June 2010. Ireland has quite a highly developed entrepreneurial environment, and the importance attached to the various forms of entrepreneurship has heightened in the context of the country’s deep recession.

The questionnaire

Part I: Public/policy discussion

General policy discussions and policy approach

Do the public/policy discussions specifically deal with the different forms of business activities, since when and for how long?

Yes, public/policy discussions deal with different forms of entrepreneurial business activities, but the definitions vary somewhat in Ireland to those above. Ireland’s 2008 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) report seems to provide the most comprehensive data on entrepreneurial activity in the Irish context. The GEM Ireland Report is sponsored by Enterprise Ireland, Forfás and Allied Irish Bank. The authors of the report are Paula Fitzsimons, National GEM Co-ordinator Ireland, and Dr. Colm O'Gorman, Professor of Entrepreneurship, Dublin City University (DCU) Business School.

The 2008 Irish GEM report distinguishes between nascent entrepreneurs (those actively planning a new venture), new firm entrepreneurs (a new business that is between 4-42 months old), and established business owners (over 42 months old). It also contains information on serial entrepreneurs.

It is not possible to give precise years for the presence of the different emerging forms of entrepreneurship in Ireland in the public debate; especially as the Irish definitions deviate from those in this CAR. But Ireland has long encouraged entrepreneurial activity, and has a number of state agencies designed to facilitate entrepreneurship - notably Enterprise Ireland, which is responsible for encouraging indigenous entrepreneurial and enterprise activity.

Table 1: Presence of the different emerging forms of entrepreneurship in the public debate
 

Yes, continuously since xx year? (Please indicate year)

Yes, on and off in the last 10 years

(Please indicate yes where it applies)

Yes, has been on the public agenda, but since xx year it is no longer part of the agenda (Please indicate year)

No, it has never been part of the public agenda

(Please indicate X where it applies)

One-person enterprises /self-employed        
Part-time entrepreneurs        
Parallel entrepreneurs        
Serial entrepreneurs        
Business transfers and successions        

For each of the entrepreneurship/business activities covered by policy discussions, which policy domains are they covered in? Please indicate with an ’X‘ where relevant.

Table 2: Policy domains engaged in the policy discussion of the emerging forms of entrepreneurship
 

Labour policies

Educational policies

Economic/Industrial policies

Innovation policies

Regional policies

Other (please specify)

One-person enterprises /self-employed

x

x

x

x

X

 
Part-time entrepreneurs

x

x

x

x

X

 
Parallel entrepreneurs

x

x

x

x

X

 
Serial entrepreneurs

x

x

x

x

X

 
Business transfers and successions

x

x

x

x

X

 

In which media and forum do the public debate and policy discussions about the different types of entrepreneurship take place?

Please indicate whether they are implicitly (e.g. publications are covering entrepreneurs in general with implicit implications for the different forms of entrepreneurs/business activities) covered and/or explicitly mentioned (for instance parallel entrepreneurs are explicitly mentioned) in these publications.

Apart from the self-employed, and given the different definitions of entrepreneurship used in Ireland, different types of entrepreneurship tend to be implicitly mentioned under these various headings below. The Irish media tends to be positively disposed towards entrepreneurship, and the issue receives extensive attention in Ireland.

Table 3: Media and forums discussing the emerging forms of entrepreneurship
 

Public media such as newspapers and magazines incl. electronic media

Policy documents and analysis

Proposed legislation and/or business support schemes

Others, please specify

One-person enterprises/self-employed

Explicit

Explicit

Explicit

 
Part-time entrepreneurs

Implicit

Implicit

Implicit

 
Parallel entrepreneurs

Implicit

Implicit

Implicit

 
Serial entrepreneurs

Implicit

Implicit

Implicit

 
Business transfers and successions

Implicit

Implicit

Implicit

 

Specific topics to describe the different types of entrepreneurship

What has motivated the public debate?

The policy debate on entrepreneurship in Ireland since the recession hit in 2008 has been motivated by economic necessity and wider market or system failures, and given the rapid deterioration in other forms of employment. In a deep recession, there is an increase in the numbers turning, or contemplating, to entrepreneurship as a means of creating employment for themselves - and this motivation is reflected in recent policy debate. When the GEM report was released in May 2009, the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment stated: ‘We need what is best from entrepreneurship now more than ever. The establishment of new businesses can bring many benefits to the Irish economy and can enrich the base of SMEs while adding to competitiveness, innovation and employment creation. I am determined to ensure that as much support as possible is given to these entrepreneurs to allow them to create sustainable, innovative businesses, so that the employment and other economic benefits that flow from the creation of new businesses can benefit the wider community.’

Please specify for each of the five forms of entrepreneurship:

Table 4: What has motivated the public debate of the emerging forms of entrepreneurship

Type of Entrepreneurship

Motivator

One-person enterprises/self-employed

Since 2008 – recession

Part-time entrepreneurs

As above

Parallel entrepreneurs

As above

Serial entrepreneurs

As above

Business transfers and successions

As above

What has been the focus of the policy discussion?

Please specify for each of the five forms of entrepreneurship:

To some extent, most of the issues listed above have featured in the Irish policy focus for each of the different forms of entrepreneurship. A big issue in the recession has been the serious reduction in access to finance for entrepreneurs in the context of Ireland’s financial crisis. This policy issue of weakness in the financial environment, and specifically access to funding, has been probably the most cited issue since 2008 - particularly for enterprises that are not able to avail of assistance from state agencies like Enterprise Ireland. Certainly, access to finance was an issue raised by respondents to the GEM report 2008. Respondents to the GEM report were positive about the range of government supports/schemes for new businesses - Enterprise Ireland and the City and County Enterprise Boards are frequently cited as a strength of the Irish entrepreneurial environment. There is a general view espoused by respondents to the Irish 2008 GEM report that while there is a high degree of government support for entrepreneurship, there is a need for a more integrated and coordinated policy approach at the highest levels, with entepreneurship being actively championed and a national entrepreneurship policy being adopted. There is also a widespread belief that assistance and information for entrepreneurs cannot be accessed through a single contact point. There is also a view that access to R&D and technology could be improved for new firms - large established firms are seen as having better access to R&D. A view is expressed that there should be tax incentives to encourage entrepreneurs to utilise R&D. Another issue of policy debate in the Irish GEM 2008 report was the opinion that the education system (including primary, secondary and higher education) does not provide adequate attention to entrepreneurship - and that there should be specialist entrepreneurship courses.

In summary, the following issues are among those raised in the policy debate in Ireland:

  • - Maintaining and developing access to finance;
  • - Reducing cost of market entry (often regulations governing entry to certain markets);
  • - More coordination of government support at national and regional level;
  • - Single source central repository for all information on starting a new business;
  • - More specific focus on entrepreneurship across different stages of education system;
  • - Ongoing monitoring of entrepreneurial activity (policy idea of proposed National Entrepreneurship Forum to conduct regular reviews);
  • - Tax incentives for new firms to access R&D and technology.
Table 5: The policy focus in the public debate within each of the emerging forms of entrepreneurship

Type of Entrepreneurship

Policy focus

One-person enterprises/self-employed  
Part-time entrepreneurs  
Parallel entrepreneurs  
Serial entrepreneurs  
Business transfers and successions  

Has the public discussion resulted in a concrete outcome/impact?

No:

Yes:

Please specify for each of the five forms of entrepreneurship:

Outcomes have been general rather than pertaining to the five forms of entrepreneurship specified in this CAR. The 2008 GEM report for Ireland concludes that the current recessionary climate has heightened discussion about entrepreneurship and its importance for economic growth and job creation.

In terms of concrete policy outcomes, in September 2009, the Irish government announced a range of new supports for small businesses/entrepreneurs. In an address to the annual conference of the Small Firms Association, the Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, announced new initiatives aimed at supporting the development of new businesses and fostering an entrepreneurial culture in Ireland. The Tánaiste announced that she has approved a significant broadening of the financial supports that the County and City Enterprise Boards (CEB) can offer their client businesses. The intended effect of the move is to broaden the scope of the start up and development costs that can be assisted. As a result of these changes, supports will now be available for all legitimate business costs directly attributable to starting a new business, or growing and developing a business, rather than being restricted to asset acquisition. The Tánaiste said that the changes would align CEB supports more closely with those of the other enterprise support agencies and ensure a consistency in approach. She said that, while the change would not affect the existing criteria governing client eligibility for grant support, the move would allow much greater flexibility in how the CEBs support start-up and small growing enterprises. The Tánaiste also announced to the audience of entrepreneurs and small business owners that she intended over the coming months to bring forward a National Entrepreneurship Strategy. This, she said, would ensure that the range of existing initiatives aimed at stimulating entrepreneurship are incorporated in a cohesive and coordinated approach to drive increased entrepreneurial activity in our communities. She also confirmed that she intended that the strategy would broaden the degree of participation by groups currently under-represented in business, such as women entrepreneurs and the immigrant community.

In December 2009, the Government announced the expansion of a fund to supply seed capital for new entrepreneurs. The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, launched a new €23 million expansion of the Allied Irish Banks (AIB) Seed Capital Fund. The €23m expansion will bring the total fund size to €53 million and will target investments in start up and early stage businesses with a particular focus on technology, financial services, clean and green sectors, and also businesses in the medical devices sectors. AIB and Enterprise Ireland are joint partners. The expansion of the AIB Seed Fund is part of the government’s bank recapitalisation initiative, and is intended to achieve a significant broadening of access to funding for indigenous start-up and early stage businesses.

Table 6: Outcome or impact of the public debate of the emerging forms of entrepreneurship

Type of Entrepreneurship

Outcome/Impact

One-person enterprises/self-employed  
Part-time entrepreneurs  
Parallel entrepreneurs  
Serial entrepreneurs  
Business transfers and successions  

Overall assessment

Within the last couple of years, to which extent has the public and policy discussion been more focused on the following different types of entrepreneurship compared to the business policy/entrepreneurship debate in general?

Within the last couple of years in Ireland the public and policy focus has to a high degree been on the entrepreneurship debate in general rather than specific types of entrepreneurship per se.

Table 7: Increased focus at the emerging forms of entrepreneurship?
 

To a low degree To a high degree

       
 

1

2

3

4

5

One-person enterprises/self-employed          
Part-time entrepreneurs          
Parallel entrepreneurs          
Serial entrepreneurs          
Business transfers and successions          

Please list the main sources of information in the search for the above

Research publications:

Part II: Standardised structural data

Which standardised business statistics are available covering the different forms of entrepreneurship/business activities (explicitly or implicitly, i.e. also data that could be used to describe these forms of entrepreneurship without being published with this specific objective/heading)?

Standardised data on entrepreneurship in Ireland is summarised in: P. Fitzsimons and C. O'Gorman (2009), Entrepreneurship in Ireland 2008: Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), Dublin City University Business School. http://www.forfas.ie/publication/search.jsp?ft=/publications/2009/Title,4076,en.php

The GEM report concludes that Ireland is to the fore in Europe in both the rate of early stage entrepreneurial activity (7.6%) and in the rate of established entrepreneurs (9%) among the adult population. With an average of 2,800 individuals setting up new businesses every month, entrepreneurial activity in Ireland remains high, according to the latest GEM report.

Table 8: Availability of business statistics about the emerging forms of entrepreneurship
 

Type of data available

Indicate access to data by an ‘X’ in the first column

First published

Indicate year

Time series of data

(Biannually, annually, quarterly, monthly, once only, other)

Data source for the data

GEM Report 2008

 

Nascent entrepreneurs

Number of people & % of adult population

     

90,200

3.3%

 

Enterprises by branch (please specify which NACE code digit level is available)

       
 

Availability of regional data (please specify)

       
 

Type of ownership of enterprises (sole propriety, limited company, publically listed company, etc)

       
 

Economic performance e.g.:

       
 

Turnover

       
 

Exports

       
 

Employment

       
 

Others: ___________

       
 

Sustainability:

       
 

Number of new enterprises (start-ups) by year

       
 

Number of discontinued enterprises, incl. bankruptcies –

       
 

survival rate of enterprises

       
 

Others, specify:

       

New firm entrepreneurs

Number of people & % of adult population

     

117,500

4.3%

 

Enterprises by branch (please specify which NACE code digit level is available)

       
 

Availability of regional data (please specify)

     

Highest number = 6.1% of all adults from South East. Lowest = 3.1% from Border region

 

Type of ownership of enterprises (sole propriety, limited company, publically listed company, etc)

       
 

Economic performance e.g.:

       
 

Turnover

       
 

Exports

       
 

Employment

     

23% expect to employ >20 within 5 years

 

Others: ___________

       
 

Sustainability:

       
 

Number of new enterprises (start-ups) by year

       
 

Number of discontinued enterprises, incl. bankruptcies –

       
 

Survival rate of enterprises

       
 

Others, specify:

       

Established entrepreneurs

Number of people & % of population

     

246,900

9%

 

Enterprises by branch (please specify which NACE code digit level is available)

       
 

Availability of regional data (please specify)

       
 

Type of ownership of enterprises (sole propriety, limited company, publically listed company, etc)

       
 

Economic performance e.g.:

       
 

Turnover

       
 

Exports

       
 

Employment

     

6% expect >10 jobs within 5 years with minimum 50% employment growth

 

Others: ___________

       
 

Sustainability:

       
 

Number of new enterprises (start-ups) by year

       
 

Number of discontinued enterprises, incl. bankruptcies –

       
 

survival rate of enterprises

       
 

Others, specify:

       

Serial entrepreneurs

Number of entrepreneurs

     

25% of all entrepreneurs

 

Enterprises by branch (please specify which NACE code digit level is available)

       
 

Availability of regional data (please specify)

       
 

Type of ownership of enterprises (sole propriety, limited company, publically listed company, etc)

       
 

Economic performance e.g.:

       
 

Turnover

       
 

Exports

       
 

Employment

       
 

Others: ___________

       
 

Sustainability:

       
 

Number of new enterprises (start-ups) by year

       
 

Number of discontinued enterprises, incl. bankruptcies –

       
 

survival rate of enterprises

       
 

Others, specify:

       

Business transfers and successions

Number of enterprises

       
 

Enterprises by branch (please specify which NACE code digit level is available)

       
 

Availability of regional data (please specify)

       
 

Type of ownership of enterprises (sole propriety, limited company, publically listed company, etc)

       
 

Economic performance e.g.:

       
 

Turnover

       
 

Exports

       
 

Employment

       
 

Others: ___________

       
 

Sustainability:

       
 

Number of new enterprises (start-ups) by year

       
 

Number of discontinued enterprises, incl. bankruptcies –

     

1.8% of all adults

 

survival rate of enterprises – owner exited and business continued

     

1.8% of all adults

 

Others, specify:

       

Is it possible to crosstab or merge the demographic data identifying the individual persons running any of the five forms of entrepreneurships/business activities with the company data specified in question 9 in a common database for analytical purpose?

No:

Yes:

Not sure. Would require request to Dublin City University (DCU) researchers.

Demographic data on entrepreneurship in Ireland is summarised in: P. Fitzsimons and C. O'Gorman (2009), Entrepreneurship in Ireland 2008: Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), Dublin City University Business School. http://www.forfas.ie/publication/search.jsp?ft=/publications/2009/Title,4076,en.php

Table 9: Availability of demographic statistics about the entrepreneur within the emerging forms of entrepreneurship
 

Type of data available

Indicated access to data by an ‘X’ in the first column

First published

Indicate year

Time series of data

(Biannually, annually, quarterly, monthly, once only, other)

Data source for the data

2008 GEM report

 

Early stage entrepreneurs

Number of enterprises held by each entrepreneur/owner

       
 

Gender

     

11.2% of all men and 4% of all women

 

Ethnicity

     

More (9.1%) born outside Ireland than born inside Ireland (7.3%)

 

Civic status (married, single, children)

       
 

Age

     

Greatest propensity of new entreps = 9.8% of 33-44 age group

 

Geographical location

       
 

Educational background (last registered education)

     

No educational distinctions by low or high education

 

Current/previous employment of entrepreneurs (business experience)

       
 

Sector familiarity of the entrepreneur – branch/NACE

     

The ‘consumer’ sector (including retail, restaurants, personal services, recreation) most common (37%), then business services (30%)

 

Working hours of the entrepreneur

       
 

Income of the entrepreneur

     

44% in highest third household income bracket

 

Other types of data (Specify):

       

Established entrepreneurs (>3.5 years)

Number of enterprises held by each entrepreneur/owner

       
 

Gender

     

12.7% of all men and 5.4% of women

 

Ethnicity

       
 

Civic status (married, single, children)

       
 

Age

     

Over 15% of those aged 55-64 are established entrepreneurs

 

Geographical location

       
 

Educational background (last registered education)

     

13.2% have primary and/or some secondary as highest education level. Only 5.7% have postgraduate as highest education level.

 

Current/previous employment of entrepreneurs (business experience)

       
 

Sector familiarity of the entrepreneur – branch/NACE

     

‘Transformative’ sector (32%), which includes transport, manuf, construction, wholesale & utilities.

 

Working hours of the entrepreneur

       
 

Income of the entrepreneur

     

47% in highest third household income bracket

 

Other types of data (Specify):

       

Serial entrepreneurs

Number of enterprises held by each entrepreneur/owner

       
 

Gender

       
 

Ethnicity

       
 

Civic status (married, single, children)

       
 

Age

       
 

Geographical location

       
 

Educational background (last registered education)

       
 

Current/previous employment of entrepreneurs (business experience)

       
 

Sector familiarity of the entrepreneur – branch/NACE

       
 

Working hours of the entrepreneur

       
 

Income of the entrepreneur

       
 

Other types of data (Specify):

       

Business transfers and successions

Number of enterprises held by each entrepreneur/owner

       
 

Gender

       
 

Ethnicity

       
 

Civic status (married, single, children)

       
 

Age

       
 

Geographical location

       
 

Educational background (last registered education)

       
 

Current/previous employment of entrepreneurs (business experience)

       
 

Sector familiarity of the entrepreneur – branch/NACE

       
 

Working hours of the entrepreneur

       
 

Income of the entrepreneur

       
 

Other types of data (Specify):

       

Is the data freely accessible or does it require registration, payment and/or a special effort to access the data? Please explain the accessibility for each of the forms of entrepreneurs/business activities and datasets referred to above.

The data in the GEM Ireland report is available as below, but access to actual dataset would entail request to DCU researchers.

Table 10: List of statistical sources about the emerging forms of entrepreneurship

List data source/dataset

Explain the accessibility

2008 GEM Irish report

Freely available on internet link:

http://www.forfas.ie/publication/search.jsp?ft=/publications/2009/Title,4076,en.php

Part III: Research

Please describe studies and research available nationally for each of the forms of entrepreneurs/business activities.

The GEM study is a major source of data on overall entrepreneurial activities in Ireland: P. Fitzsimons and C. O'Gorman (2009), Entrepreneurship in Ireland 2008: Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), Dublin City University Business School. http://www.forfas.ie/publication/search.jsp?ft=/publications/2009/Title,4076,en.php

Short summary of contents of GEM study:

  • Section 1: Significant changes in entrepreneurship in Ireland in 2008.
  • Section 2: Entrepreneurship in Ireland in 2008.
  • Section 3: Entrepreneurship in the regions.
  • Section 4: Narrowing the gender divide.
  • Section 5: The Environment for entrepreneurship.
  • Section 6: Conclusions and recommendations.
Table 11: List of studies and research about the emerging forms of entrepreneurship
 

List the references (author’s name, title of publication etc, year of publication, organisation)

A short summary of the contents (e.g. topic covered, methodology applied)

One-person enterprises/self-employed

   

Part-time entrepreneurs

   

Parallel entrepreneurs

   

Serial entrepreneurs

   

Business transfers and successions

   

Tony Dobbins, NUI Galway

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