Ireland has slipped down the ranking if early-stage entrepreneurial activity, falling form second place to eighth across the EU-15 according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor.

Over 20,000 people started a new business in Ireland in 2014, a significant decrease from 2013 which saw 32,000 people set up a new business.

Ireland has also dropped in the ranking of early stage entrepreneurial activity across the EU-28, falling from ninth place in 2013 to 16th place in 2014.

Ireland ranked sixth for numbers of intrapreneurs, with one in fifteen people involved in developing or launching new goods or services for their employer. Considering only those in employment, the rate is higher at 11.8 per cent, with Ireland ranking second to Denmark.

Entrepreneurs aged between 18 and 34 accounted for 39 per cent of new business owners in Ireland according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. One in eleven (9.5 per cent) of those aged between 18 and 34 that are not currently active as entrepreneurs aspire to start a new business in the next three years. This is compared to one in fourteen for those aged 35 to 50 (6.9 per cent), and to one in twenty for those aged 50-64 (3.8 per cent).

The results of the GEM report show 15.5 per cent of new company owners in Ireland are in the medium or high-tech sectors. More than half have identified a market niche with limited competition.

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton has said that while Ireland has great entrepreneurs, it does not have enough of them. He also stated that the Government has put in place a number of measures to double the number of jobs being created by start-up business.

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