News & Events

Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Report published

High level of growth aspiration among Irish entrepreneurs

The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Report for Ireland 2014 was launched by Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, today (Wednesday).

Enterprise Ireland, supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, sponsored the publication of the GEM report for Ireland 2014, which was authored by Paula Fitzsimons of Fitzsimons Consulting and Dr Colm O’Gorman Professor of Entrepreneurship, DCU Business School.

Launching the GEM Report Minister Bruton said: “As I have said many times before, we have great entrepreneurs in Ireland – we just don’t have enough of them. The GEM report published today confirms this, with Ireland placing around or slightly below the EU average on most key measures of start-up activity – number of people starting a business, number of ‘nascent entrepreneurs’, number of people who aspire to start a business, perception of opportunities for starting a business.

“Government policy has an important role to play in improving this. Over recent years we have put in place a number of measures as part of our plan to double the number of jobs being created by start-up businesses. We have put in place the Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur competition to encourage more young people to consider entrepreneurship as a career option, we have provided extra sources of credit and new tax incentives for early stage entrepreneurs and we have provided more soft supports like mentoring and co-working spaces.

“However clearly we must do more, and I am determined to ensure that in Budget 2016 and into the future we will continue making changes to encourage more people to start their own business and create the jobs we need”.

According to Tom Hayes, Manager of the Micro Enterprise, Small Business and Potential Exporters Division at Enterprise Ireland: “The GEM Report shows that early stage entrepreneurship activity in Ireland is strong, with a focus on developing innovative products and services for export. The strong aspiration for growth among early stage entrepreneurs reported in GEM is also very encouraging. 70% of early stage entrepreneurs in Ireland expect to become employers, with one in four expecting to grow significantly, employing 10 or more within five years. This focus on growth ranks Ireland 3rd in Europe. Enterprise Ireland will continue to support innovative young companies to grow and develop, helping them to compete with the best globally”.

To download the full report click here Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) – Report for Ireland 2014


For more details contact:

Paula Chase, Press Officer, Enterprise Ireland Direct: 01 7272842

Press Office, Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, (01) 631 2200 or


Paula Fitzsimons, National GEM Coordinator Mobile: 087 2774385 

Notes to Editors 

The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) provides an annual assessment of the entrepreneurial activity, aspirations and attitudes of individuals across a wide range of countries. GEM is the largest on-going study of entrepreneurial dynamics in the world. Initiated in 1999 as a partnership between London Business School and Babson College, the first study covered 10 countries. In 2013, 70 individual countries and economies participated in the research. 

One of the unique features of GEM is the facility which it provides to compare countries with each other across a range of variables pertinent to entrepreneurship. This is made possible as the research is carried out in exactly the same way in each country and is coordinated by the Global Entrepreneurship Research Association (GERA) based in Babson College in the United States and London Business School. 

The findings of the GEM Report 2014 include:

-          Over 20,000 individuals started a new business in Ireland in 2014. 

-          Ireland ranks 6th for number of intrapreneurs – one in fifteen people in Ireland are active as intrapreneurs, involved in developing or launching new goods or services for their employer 

-          One in six new business owners expect to employ more than 20 people within 5 years 

-          15.5% of new company owners are in medium or high-tech sectors 

-          High rates of innovation

  • 46% have a product or service that is new to customers
  • 51% have identified a market niche with limited competition
  • 30% are using new technology


-          Over 50% are using the internet to sell their product or service 

-          Millennials i.e. entrepreneurs aged between 18 and 34 account for 39% of new business owners in Ireland 

-          Of those that started a business in Ireland between January 2011 and June 2014, 70% were men and 30% were women 

-          Availability and access to finance remains the most commonly referenced constraint to growth 

-          Irish entrepreneurs stated that informal venture capital is the most critical early source of funding with an average of €40,500 being invested by each informal investor.