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November 1st: Torsten Jacobi, CEO of Creative Weblogging, joins host Anita Campbell. Sponsored by Six Disciplines. Show details.
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Boom Times for Irish Small Businesses
The Sunday Times has an interesting article noting that small businesses are booming in Ireland. The number of small businesses has doubled in the last 10 years, rising from 160,000 in 1995 to over 300,000 today.

The pattern of entrepreneurship in Ireland is similar to the pattern in other well-developed countries with vibrant economies, such as the United States. Some of the key characteristics of the SME (small and medium enterprise) sector in Ireland include:
  • The number of manufacturing businesses is low. Instead, the trend is to import and distribute goods that have been sourced in low cost economies.

  • Freed from capital intensive manufacturing, firms have more time and money for research into creating new and better products.

  • The business services sector is booming, in part because Ireland has become a prime location to outsource services to.

  • Construction is thriving, and craftspeople and tradespeople are finding opportunity.
And all the new-found wealth and prosperity in Ireland is creating an affluent consumer culture. It is sparking a chain reaction, leading to further new business opportunities. Consider the implications of this quote from the article:
"Delaney said changing lifestyles and increased wealth have created new business opportunities. 'People see ideas all around them and create a new market for something which was lying idle,' he said, adding that garden centres and DIY shops have mushroomed as more people socialise at home and use their garden as an extension of the living area. 'It's an area where there's a lot of innovation and product development,' said Delaney. 'In the past, we wouldn't have thought of having outside gas lights on a decking because nobody would have put decking down.'"
Read the whole article.

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