Belfast Telegraph

Republic's economic agencies 'need to do more for start-ups'

Economic development agencies Enterprise Ireland and the IDA need to evolve in order to foster a
Economic development agencies Enterprise Ireland and the IDA need to evolve in order to foster a "new breed of start-ups", according to Dublin-based aircraft leasing giant Avolon

By John Mulligan

Economic development agencies Enterprise Ireland and the IDA need to evolve in order to foster a "new breed of start-ups", according to Dublin-based aircraft leasing giant Avolon.

In a report on how it sees Ireland's start-up and innovation culture could be improved, Avolon also said that Enterprise Ireland should aim to eliminate all direct company funding and provide financial backing solely through private venture capital firms by investing in their funds.

According to its latest annual report, for 2017, Enterprise Ireland invested €89.1m (£77m) in equity and venture capital that year.

It invested €36.9m (£31.9m) in direct equity across 388 investments in 319 companies.

The Enterprise Ireland direct equity portfolio held equity investments in 1,526 companies at the end of 2017. Its equity investments generated income of €26.8m (£23m) for Enterprise Ireland in 2017.

The agency, which is headed by Co Down-born chief executive Julie Sinnamon, also invested €52.2m (£45m) in private equity funds in 2017.

"This agency injects significant capital into our ecosystem but shoulders too much of that burden and as a result is often is limited where scale is needed," the report from Avolon, Project I, claimed.

Enterprise Ireland said that it would be taking the time to review the Project I document in full.

It added: "Enterprise Ireland is committed to the continued development of the start-up ecosystem in Ireland.

"EI works and supports the brightest and best manufacturing and internationally traded services start-ups in Ireland that have the ambition to take their businesses global."

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph