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Minister Pat Breen launches new SME and Entrepreneurship Consultation Group

Establishment of Group in line with recommendation of major OECD Review of Irish SMEs

Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen TD, today chairs the first meeting of a new SME and Entrepreneurship (SMEE) Consultation Group. The meeting, held in the Royal College of Physicians, Dublin involves over 40 SME and entrepreneurship-related stakeholders including business owners, representative bodies, policy makers and Government agencies.

The establishment of the Group is in line with a recommendation contained in a draft report within the OECD’s review of SME and Entrepreneurship policy in Ireland. The function of the group will be to draw together the vast range of policy and other supports available across Government for SME/Entrepreneurship development and to ensure they contribute to an enterprise culture that allows SMEs and entrepreneurship to develop and flourish.

The group will work towards the formulation of a plan of how best to progress the conclusions and recommendations from the draft OECD Review of SME and Entrepreneurship Polices in Ireland. The Group will also examine how best to advance the SME Strategy for Ireland, currently being produced by the Department of Business, Enterprise and innovation, particularly with in the context of Future Jobs Ireland. To this end, there will be a special SMEE Strategy Conference in Farmleigh House on 26th of June.

Speaking about the formulation of the new group, Minister Breen stated: “I am delighted to launch and chair the new SMEE Consultation Group and I look forward to the very positive role it will play in shaping advancing the Government’s policy response for SMEs and entrepreneurship. SMEs account for over 99% of enterprises in Ireland and provide employment for nearly 70% of the workforce. The Government’s commitment to SME and entrepreneurship development has been constant and unwavering and it is important that our policy responses remains focussed. The establishment of the SMEE group will bring a whole of Government policy response that reflects the views of small business.”

It is anticipated that the final report of the OECD on its review of SME and Entrepreneurship in Ireland will be available later this year.

ENDS

NOTE TO EDITORS

OECD Country Review of SME & Entrepreneurship Policies in Ireland
To further underpin the work of the National Policy Statement and Entrepreneurship, the Department in March 2018 commissioned the OECD to conduct a Review of SME and Entrepreneurship Policies in Ireland. This is an 18-month pivotal process, the aim of which is to provide tailored analysis and recommendations to DBEI and the Irish government on how to improve the design and implementation of national SME and entrepreneurship policies and programmes, based on an assessment of the country’s current SME and entrepreneurship performance, framework conditions and policies based on international comparisons.

This is a collaborative body of work and involves considerable input from wider Government and stakeholders. This review will be completed this summer and published in quarter 3 of this year. DBEI will also receive a SME and Entrepreneurship Roadmap in tandem. This will assist DBEI to develop an SME and Entrepreneurship Strategy which will be part of the Future Jobs Framework. It will inform the whole of Government how best to address the needs of our SMEs and entrepreneurs through policy intervention going forward.

Preliminary findings indicate specific recommendations regarding developing mechanisms to assist SMEs and entrepreneurs in such areas of lifelong learning, financial management and digital skills will be of key importance for the future of our entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The role of the SME and Entrepreneurship Consultation Group is to provide a platform for structured engagement between Government, agencies, representative bodies and small businesses and will be chaired by the Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen TD.

Over 40 stakeholders will attend the inaugural meeting of the SME and Entrepreneurship Consultation Group on Wednesday 27th March at the Royal College of Physicians in Dublin. Together, they will be formulating a plan of how to progress the conclusions and recommendations from the draft OECD Review of SME and Entrepreneurship Polices in Ireland. The Group will examine how best to take the next steps in an SME Strategy for Ireland. This will include the structure of the strategy within the framework of Future Jobs and participation in an SMEE Strategy Conference in Farmleigh on the 26th of June.

For further information, contact:
Press Office, Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, 01-6312200 or 0871255572 press.office@dbei.gov.ie

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