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SME and Entrepreneurship Policy in Ireland

image of SME and Entrepreneurship Policy in Ireland

This publication presents the findings of an OECD review of SME and entrepreneurship policy in Ireland. It assesses the challenges for SME and entrepreneurship development and offers recommendations for future policy.

SMEs and entrepreneurs play a crucial role in the Irish economy, with SMEs accounting for more than 70% of employment. Attitudes to entrepreneurship are positive and SME innovation rates are high. However, SME productivity has not been increasing in recent years, business entry and exit rates are low and few Irish SMEs are directly engaged in exports. There is also untapped potential for entrepreneurship among women, youth and migrants, and variations across the country in SME and entrepreneurship performance.

Ireland has a strong set of policies and programmes to address these challenges. The business environment is generally favourable, there are many best practice programmes for supporting high potential SMEs and entrepreneurs, and strong co-ordination of policies across government. At the same time, policies could be strengthened in areas such as growing productivity in medium-sized businesses, increasing the start-up rate, increasing exports, fostering enterprise networks and clusters, drafting a unified SME and entrepreneurship policy strategy document and strengthening the role of Local Enterprise Offices.

English

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The local dimension of SME and entrepreneurship policy in Ireland

This chapter presents information on the local dimension of SME and entrepreneurship policy in Ireland. Despite its small size, Ireland’s economic geography is characterised by significant differences in the vitality of the local entrepreneurship ecosystems underpinning SME and entrepreneurship development across the country. It points to the importance of an increased local focus in SME and entrepreneurship policy with the aim of promoting local entrepreneurship, innovation and industrial diversification based on existing local strengths. It also discusses mechanisms for reinforcing the vertical and horizontal alignment of SME and entrepreneurship policy in Ireland.

English

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