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Ireland is not best to set up business

Monday, December 16 15:52:58

Ireland is not the best country in the world - or Europe for that matter - in which to set up a business. The Netherlands is and Ireland is dropping back on the entrepreneur-friendly league tables.

That's according to the DCU Ryan Academy for Entrepreneurs' Entrepreneur Watch launched today.

In 2005, Ireland was ranked 1st of the EU-15 countries in terms of the rate of entrepreneurship, with the Dutch ranked 9th.

By 2012, this situation has been reversed with the Netherlands ranked 1st and Ireland dropping to 9th position.

The research also found that the rate of new business start-ups in 2012 was 2.5 times higher in the Netherlands than Ireland.

While Ireland ranks higher than the Netherlands in terms of ease of doing business and ease of starting a new business, the Dutch policy of reducing rules and regulations, reducing direct interventions targeted at business and diverting savings towards lowering taxes on business have produced an environment that is more business friendly and encouraging of start-ups.

Significantly more people in the Netherlands perceive entrepreneurship to be a desirable career choice while more Irish entrepreneurs report that their motivation is that there was "no better alternative".

On a more positive note, more Irish entrepreneurs are in medium or high technology sectors and are more ambitious in terms of expectations of growing their business or developing into international markets.

Presenting the findings of the report, Professor Colm O'Gorman said, "While Ireland still ranks high as a good place to do business, this report indicates that the recent economic crises had a significant impact on the number of business start-ups in Ireland. Ireland continues to face a significant industrial development policy - how to create a context that supports business start-ups and growth."

Ann Horan, CEO of DCU Ryan Academy pointed to the opportunities presented by the report, "While other commentators have suggested that Ireland tops European league tables when it comes to attracting funding in the high-tech start-up sector, Entrepreneur Watch reveals a bleaker picture for overall start-up activity in Ireland in recent years. Learning from the Dutch model, there is clearly a job of work to be done in terms of changing perceptions of entrepreneurship as a least-worst option and creating a more supportive regulatory environment for start-ups."

"In recent years, DCU Ryan Academy has been proactive in developing a comprehensive suite of training, mentoring and funding supports which respond directly to the needs of Irish entrepreneurs across the high-tech, agri-food, female start-up and social enterprise sectors. These initiatives, coupled with the recent creation of the Government Entrepreneurship Forum, provide a sound platform on which to rebuild Ireland's reputation as an entrepreneurial powerhouse," she added.