Dungarvan Enterprise Centre
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Dungarvan, Co. Waterford

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Action Plan for Jobs 2015-Whats It Means for Enterprise

‘’Action Plan for Jobs 2015 – What It Means for Enterprise ‘’

The Action Plan for Jobs 2015 was launched a Thursday 30.01.2015 but what does it mean for Enterprise ?

         According to OECD  "the achievement of 100,000 additional jobs by 2016 will be an important milestone and we are confident that this will be achieved. Beyond this, we need to set an even more challenging goal for the country – we want to replace all of the jobs lost during the economic crisis and bring employment to 2.1 million in 2018."

 They say that  Action Plan for Jobs 2015 will be a further step along the way in meeting this medium-term goal for Ireland.

The themes in this year’s Action Plan for Jobs build on the reforms of previous years in the areas of competitiveness, innovation and entrepreneurship and in fostering new sources of growth for the economy.
A significant regional fund of up to €25 million in competitive funding will be announced to support regional initiatives through Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland and the LEOs, in particular.
The key target contained in the plan is to double the jobs impact of start-ups in Ireland over the next five years, from the current level of 93,000.

  • ·         Increase the number of starts –ups by  25 per cent – representing 3,000 more start-ups per annum;
  • ·         Increase the survival rate in the first five years by 25 per cent – 1,800 more survivors per annum; and
  • ·         Improve the capacity of start-ups to grow to scale by 25 per cent

To achieve the ambition, the Government will improve the key interlocking elements that impact on entrepreneurship and make up the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Ireland like a business environment and supports. In addition over the coming year, the Government will bring forward a new Enterprise Policy and Strategy Statement for the period to 2025, setting out the vision for enterprise development over that period to secure full employment, and the key supports and business environment measures to be taken to ensure Irish based enterprises are among the most innovative, productive, competitive and entrepreneurial in the world.

Very good news for Small Business 

The digital economy represents 5 per cent of GDP, is growing at approximately 20 per cent per year and supports almost 100,000 direct and indirect jobs. Irish consumers spend around €700,000 per hour, 24 hours a day online. With up to 70 per cent of Ireland's annual online spend currently going overseas, targeting Irish businesses for online trading is a key jobs and economic imperative. In Ireland today, however, less than 1 in 4 small businesses are selling to customers online.

 European Commission research suggests that companies which develop a meaningful online trading presence grow twice as fast, export twice as much and employ twice as many people.

The Trading Online Voucher Scheme was introduced and piloted under the 2013 Action Plan for Jobs and rolled out nationally under the 2014 Action Plan. The Scheme is a key action under the National Digital Strategy (NDS) which was published in July 2013. It aims to get 2,000 more small businesses trading online by end 2015 and offers a financial incentive of up to €2,500 to small and micro businesses to develop their online trading capability. It is an example of an effective partnership between DCENR, DJEI, Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) network.
More information on the Scheme can be found at www.dcenr.gov.ie/nds and on the website of each LEO.

Other Supports  
  •  The development of an innovative SME State Support On-line tool (www.localenterprise.ie/smeonlinetool) to provide an individual with a list of the possible government business supports available to their particular business;
  • Government agreement to amend the Credit Guarantee Act 2012 and introduce a new more flexible Credit Guarantee Scheme;
  • The commitment by EI of €99.5 million to a number of funds under its Seed and Venture Capital Scheme (2013-2018);
Each LEO will identify how it can facilitate hubs where start-ups can be established in a supportive network before moving on to accommodate for the next cohort of emerging enterprises. A key approach will be to build on the 100+ Community Enterprise Centres across the country by implementing local protocols to ensure the LEOs are fully integrated into the enterprise development plans of each county.

A national week of events promoting entrepreneurship and showcasing Ireland’s start-up sector to entrepreneurs from all over the globe including the Irish diaspora, with the message ‘Start, Scale, Succeed from Ireland’.

  • ‘The Start-up Gathering’ is a new initiative which will be led by the not-for-profit organisation Start-up Ireland as a key building block towards making Ireland a global start-up hub by 2020.
  • The Start-up Gathering is an ambitious project which at its heart is ‘of the start-up sector, by the start-up sector and for the start-up sector in Ireland’.
 It builds on the success of initiatives such as ‘The Gathering’ and ‘The Wild Atlantic Way’ in a sustainable, regionally balanced way. To help make Ireland the best place in the world to establish/locate a high impact start-up, five days of events will take place annually in the second week of October (from October 5th to 10th in 2015) in each of Ireland’s cities (Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford) with a focus on the industry strengths present in each city. Using the successful model of ‘The Gathering’ the week will leverage and augment many existing events and projects that are themed around entrepreneurship, start-ups and existing industry clusters present in each city.

 The five industries will be those ‘strength in depth’ sectors currently located in Ireland namely ICT, Medical Devices, BioPharma, Agri/Food and Business Services.

 The goal for the Start-up Gathering 2015 is to facilitate in excess of 50 events and networking opportunities nationally during the week for at least 15,000 members of the Irish public and international visitors thereby creating the conditions for the creation of at least 2,500 new jobs in the following 12 months.

It seems that the Government will support small business but whether it meets its lofty targets remains to be seen. 

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