ENTERPRISE IRELAND BEST SEMI-STATE BODY
PUTTING IRISH BUSINESS ON THE MAP Enterprise Ireland has been working tirelessly to provide advice and key supports to Ireland’s indigenous sector, explains Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland. Q: How has 2015 been for Enterprise Ireland and its clients? A: 2015 has been a busy and successful year for Enterprise Ireland and for the Irish companies with whom we work. Our impact is measured by their success in achieving export sales that lead to job creation in Ireland. While all the figures are not yet in for 2015, it looks like we are on target to achieve the export gains and employment creation targets that were set out in our strategy. That’s coming off the back of a very successful year in 2014, our best year ever in terms of exports gained (a18.6bn) and in net job creation – over 8,500. In towns and villages across Ireland, the impact of this strong job creation is felt in such a real way; 8,500 more people that were able to earn an income, real people whose lives have been enhanced because of a comeback in Ireland’s indigenous sector. I am constantly amazed by the strength of the businesses with which we work, the professionalism with which business is conducted, the level of sophistication in products and services, and the talent of the business leaders, whose confidence is obvious and growing with their success. Q: Enterprise Ireland has recently been ranked third in the world for seed investment by PitchBook – it must be a source of pride to have your hard work recognised on the global stage? A: A key focus for Enterprise Ireland is providing seed capital to start-up companies and we are delighted to have been ranked third by PitchBook among top venture capital investors worldwide. This reiterates the important role that seed funding, and Enterprise Ireland, plays in providing essential finance to early stage companies as they begin their path to growth. And of course, seed funding is just one of the areas that Enterprise Ireland is involved in when supporting companies. In 2014, we made 337 direct equity investments in Enterprise Ireland client companies, spanning early-stage, high potential start-up and established businesses across a range of sectors. Q: Looking ahead, are there reasons for optimism? A: Our focus for 2016 is on continuing to drive scale in companies of all sizes, from start-ups right through
InBUSINESS | Editor’s Choice Awards 2015
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to large internationally traded companies. The ambition is to build a larger cohort of Irish-owned multinational companies. The indigenous business sector is inventing, creating and exporting Julie Sinnamon, more than CEO Enterprise Ireland ever before, with help from Enterprise Ireland. We are developing strong positions in advanced manufacturing, technologies, life sciences, green engineering and our food companies are experiencing unprecedented levels of growth. This is the new economy we are building together. But the next few years are critical – for Government, for Enterprise Ireland, for Irish businesses and for families all across Ireland. At Enterprise Ireland we are acutely aware of the responsibilities placed upon us and of the need for us to get it right. All of the key economic indicators are positive, and pointing in the direction of continued growth for Irish enterprise. Q: Finally, your reaction to winning the InBUSINESS Editor’s Choice award? A: It is always nice to be recognised for doing good work, and this award for Best Semi-State Company by the Chambers Ireland InBUSINESS Editor’s Choice Awards is welcomed. We are incredibly proud of the companies with whom we work, so we see this as their award too. Our reward is found in the privilege of working with interesting and talented Irish business leaders, whose inventions, products and services enhance the lives of people they do not know, and will never meet, whose businesses create and sustain employment and prosperity in Ireland.