Ireland SMEs – Basic Figures

According to the statistics released by EU, the total share of Irish SMEs in all businesses is same as the EU average. It consists of very few micro enterprises. But the percentage of small enterprises present are twice as high as EU average and the share of medium-sized being significantly much higher.

Irish SMEs statistics:
The number of enterprises has grown remarkably by 18,000 (23 %), from 2002 to 2008, when compared to average EU-growth(13%). Employment growth in SMEs is also significantly higher than the EU average, reaching 21 %, matched the growth in the number of enterprises.

Of the total Irish SMEs, micro firms accounted for 82.8% in total enterprises, providing 20.9% of total employment of country. Small firms accounted for 14.1% in total enterprises, providing 24.6% employment. Medium-sized accounted for 2.7% in total enterprises, providing 23.0 % of employment.

The contribution of SMEs to total employment in Ireland (69 %) which is only slightly higher than the European average (67 %).

Based on the available figures, according to SBA principle, Ireland is positioned significantly above the EU-27 average. The main reasons for this achievement can be contributed to, online sales and purchasing activities and the share of SME staff with tertiary education, as they are supported by innovation-related indicators, such as the percentage of SMEs with innovation activities, the percentage of SMEs innovating in-house, the share of SMEs with income from new products or services and the share of SMEs turn-over from new products or services, all of which outperform the EU averages. The only indicator trailing the EU average in this category is the share of innovative SMEs cooperating with others in the total SME population, scoring 6 % versus 12 % EU average.