Skip Navigation

Small Business

GEM report launched 19,000 people started new businesses in Ireland in 2012

GEM report launched  19,000 people started new businesses in Ireland in 2012

GEM report launched 19,000 people started new businesses in Ireland in 2012

Pictured: Minister Richard Bruton TD; Paula Fitzsimons, report co-author; John OHare, Azotel; Elaine Coughlan, Atlantic Bridge; and Colm O'Gorman, report co-author (Photo - Shane O'Neill / Fennell Photography)

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD today launched the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Report for Ireland for 2012.

The report shows that 19,000 people started new businesses in Ireland in 2012, and highlights the findings that new business start-ups are increasingly innovative and that the majority expects to find customers in export markets.

The report also shows that for the first time the growth aspirations among women entrepreneurs have considerably increased and the gender gap in this area has been almost eliminated. 



The GEM report is supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Enterprise Ireland and Forfás. The authors of the report are Paula Fitzsimons of Fitzsimons Consulting, who is the national GEM co-ordinator, and Dr Colm O’Gorman, professor of entrepreneurship, DCU Business School.  



As GEM research has been carried out in Ireland for nine of the last 10 years, the 2012 report contains a10-year perspective. The earlier period (2003 to 2008) was characterised by high levels of entrepreneurial activity, with very many people perceiving opportunities to start new businesses. The overall culture was very supportive and entrepreneurship was considered a good career option.  



Mirroring the changes in the economic environment, an overall decline in the rate of early stage entrepreneurial activity, particularly among men, is apparent in the latter period (2010 to 2012 inclusive), as is a rise in the proportion of those starting a new business out of necessity.



However, significant improvements in the overall entrepreneurship  ecosystem in Ireland make this an increasingly supportive environment for starting a new business.  

Advances in access to seed and venture funding, international incubator supports, access to top level mentoring supports, and Enterprise Ireland’s and the City and County Enterprise Boards’ wide range of supports for start-ups, have all contributed to making Ireland a highly attractive location in which to start a new business venture.


“Two thirds of all new jobs are created by start-ups in the first five years of existence,” said Minister Bruton.

“That is why we have placed entrepreneurship at the centre of our plans for jobs and growth. Through the Action Plan for Jobs, we have put in place a series of measures to support greater levels of start-up activity across the economy including a range of new credit measures and world-class supports for small business through the Local Enterprise Offices. Now we are taking advice from world experts and taking views from the public on the next phase of our plan to support more entrepreneurs and start-ups, and ultimately create the jobs we need.”