New Ibec report outlines ambitious policies needed to support founder-led enterprises

September 12, 2022

Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, has today published the findings of a major new report (see below) highlighting the clear barriers to growth being faced by entrepreneurs and founder-led enterprises in Ireland. 

From these findings, the Ibec Founders report offers a suite of ambitious policy recommendations that are urgently required to establish an eco-system in which Irish entrepreneurial endeavours can thrive and prosper, for the benefit of business and wider society. 

Following a survey of Ibec membership, amongst the key findings of the Ibec Founders report are:

  • 57% of respondents said that the ‘red tape/bureaucracy’ associated with applications for funding/grants has put them off applying for funding. 
  • 60% of respondents said that the availability and access to tax incentives such as Capital Gains Tax Relief, Employment Incentive and Investment Scheme, R&D Tax Credit is poor or very poor. 
  • 24% said access to talent is poor or very poor. 
  • 88% said digital skills are important or very important to the future success and resilience of their enterprise, with 47% saying that their enterprise currently does not have the digital skills necessary to meet their business ambitions. 

Speaking at the launch of the major new Ibec Founders report, Ibec Executive Director of Membership and Sectors, Sharon Higgins outlined: “Founder-led enterprises are the nuclei of innovation and progress, and play a pivotal role in economic prosperity.  As the economic headwinds continue to change however, 2022 has ushered in a new phase of uncertainty for entrepreneurs. Our survey findings show that challenges such as increased asset and labour prices, and difficulty in accessing capital and attracting talent are all beginning to stifle innovation and growth of the domestic founder-led ecosystem. 

“As we plan for the future in this changing economic environment, we need the right incentives and supportive ecosystem to ensure founders can flourish. Their contribution to economic prosperity and a thriving ecosystem needs further recognition.”

The report says ambitious policies are required in order to support the growth and development of Ireland’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. A summary of these include:

  • Advocate for fit-for-purpose funding supports in light of changing market dynamics. Imperative that such supports are simple, accessible and granted in a timely fashion and produce an SME tax roadmap.   In particular, improve tax incentives such as Capital Gains Tax Relief, R&D Tax Credit and Employment Incentive and Investment Scheme.
  • Ensure that the talent, skills and labour market is constantly reviewed to be agile, informed and interconnected to respond appropriately and in a timely fashion to the fast-paced changing business model.
  • Establish a plan to deliver sustainable digital transformation to ensure continued competitiveness. 
  • Commit to engaging in Regulatory Impact Assessments before rolling out any new regulations.


Ibec Founders report pdf | 2809.1 kb