Presentation to Young Fine Gael | Garret Fitzgerald Summer-school
SMEs & the Entrepreneurial Contribution to
Economic Stability & Growth | Job Creation
Presentation to by Olwen Dawe
GEM Figures | Comparative
2003 – 2012
Demographic 2003 2012
Aspiring Entrepreneurs 11.3% 8.0%
Established Entrepreneurs 6.7% 8.3%
Early Stage Entrepreneurs 8.1% 6.1%
Ratio of Men to Women in
Early Stage Entrepreneurship
What is this telling us?
• Ireland is making strides in the right direction towards a more
facilitative, nurturing climate for entrepreneurs;
• We can do more… creating an even more conducive culture by
utilising a joined-up approach [engaging with thought leaders,
the SME community and industry] – ongoing consultation;
• Demystifying entrepreneurship, what it means to be an
entrepreneur – redefining how we educate and support our
• There are sectors and demographics whose talent and potential
is also vastly important in this process – not least of all, our
An interesting angle?
• Attitude to failure remains an unchanging statistic for our
population – entrenched long before the recession [41%];
• There is a real difference between honest failure and reckless
abandon – failure or challenge is always a possibility in business…
understanding how to manage this is key to success;
• Education, incubation and “non-prescriptive” training key in
• ‘Lean’ approach to start-up – pivot, innovate – change.
What can we do next?
• Examine a more cohesive, joined-up approach to educating
entrepreneurs – from youth / young people to senior
‘entrepreneurs’ [including current LEO roll-out];
• Focus on sectoral /demographic potential – women
entrepreneurs, creative, social / community enterprise, agri-
diversification – harness and develop potential;
• Continue the reach of tech potential – again, our youth are key to
driving this [NDRC, EI scope – DCU and ITs]. High export potential
/ capacity. Reference: Jordan Casey, 13-year old entrepreneur.
• General view: managing the perception / attitudinal views
towards entrepreneurship and failure – Silicon Valley model.
The Scope | Why do SMEs matter?
• Sectoral targets can generate real possibilities – social enterprise
alone has potential to create 65,000 jobs / 5% GDP; creative
sector [WDC catchment only], 29,000.
• Two-thirds of all new jobs are created by start-ups in the first five
years of existence – Minister Richard Bruton;
• SMEs create more than 4 million new jobs every year in Europe;
• Investing in entrepreneurship education is one of the highest
return investments Europe can make – European Commission.