Publication of the Report of the SME Taskforce: SME and Entrepreneurship Growth Plan

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Dublin 21 January, Minister of State Damien English TD and Minister of State Robert Troy TD have today welcomed the publication of the SME Taskforce’s, ‘SME and Entrepreneurship Growth Plan’.

The Growth Plan was developed by a taskforce of entrepreneurs, business leaders and other individuals as established under a commitment in the Programme for Government – ‘Our Shared Future’ and who are uniquely positioned to contribute to a long-term vision for the SME sector in Ireland.

The SME Taskforce’s Growth Plan sets out a wide range of recommendations for Government with long-term strategic relevance for SMEs and entrepreneurs, including in the areas of digitalisation, clustering, regulation and education. These recommendations will be reviewed and taken forward, as appropriate, by an SME and Entrepreneurship Implementation Group in early 2021.

Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English TD said,

“2020 was an extremely challenging year for businesses in Ireland, especially for our small and medium enterprises. As businesses get back on their feet, we must prepare for the longer-term, beyond the immediate challenges of COVID and Brexit, by setting out a sustainable and strategic vision for our SMEs and entrepreneurs.

The Taskforce’s SME and Entrepreneurship Growth Plan that is published today provides us with the perspective of the business community on the main challenges and opportunities facing SME owners and entrepreneurs.  I am grateful for the time, commitment and energy that the Taskforce members put into developing their collective views so that we can set out to optimise the conditions and resources for Irish SME growth and prosperity into the future.

I look forward to the establishment of an SME and Entrepreneurship Implementation Group to examine the proposals set out in more detail, and to take the vision of this Growth Plan forward.”

Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, Robert Troy TD said:

“I would like to thank the Members of the SME Growth Taskforce for their informed and considered contributions in developing the SME and Entrepreneurship Growth Plan. SMEs and entrepreneurs play a hugely important role in social cohesion, regional development and the generation of broad-based growth and prosperity across the entire country.

“The SME Taskforce’s ‘SME and Entrepreneurship Growth Plan’ provides a very comprehensive set of recommendations and proposed actions to address a broad spectrum of issues facing the SME sector. These include measures to encourage more entrepreneurs to start businesses, to enhance productivity, innovation and digitalisation in existing SMEs, to bolster business clustering and networking structures, and to help more SMEs to export. These recommendations, which come directly from members of the business community, provide a suite of proposals for the SME and Entrepreneurship Implementation Group to consider – and tap into the huge potential of our SME sector which will ultimately benefit businesses, communities and citizens.”

The development of the Taskforce’s SME and Entrepreneurship Growth Plan was informed by the recent OECD Review of SME and Entrepreneurship Policy in Ireland, and is based on four thematic pillars: Entrepreneurship; Productivity, Digitalisation and Competitiveness; Clustering and Networks; and Internationalisation. It also contains a dedicated chapter on the climate policy context for Irish SMEs.

The Taskforce’s SME and Entrepreneurship Growth Plan is an important input to the development of the Government’s forthcoming National Economic Plan.

END