Enterprise Ireland invested €48m in start-ups in 2020
23 February 2021 | 0
Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade & Employment Leo Varadkar has announced that Enterprise Ireland, the government agency responsible for the development and growth of Irish companies in global markets, invested more than €48 million in Irish start-ups in 2020 and supported a total of 125 new start-up companies.
Funding was provided through Enterprise Ireland’s High Potential Start-Up (HPSU) and Competitive Start Fund (CSF) programmes.
While the total number of start-ups almost matched 2019 figures (127 in 2019), the 2020 levels of investment in HPSUs was boosted by the Covid-19 Sustaining Enterprise Fund and an increase in follow-on investments to help HPSUs scale internationally.
Key sectors that Enterprise Ireland invested in 2020 included fintech, cybersecurity, digital health and agri-tech, with half of the start-ups based outside Dublin. In addition, 38 women-led start-up companies were funded – a key focus of Enterprise Ireland’s Women in Business Action Plan.
The Tánaiste said: “I have nothing but admiration for the many entrepreneurs across the country who have been brave enough to start up new businesses during the pandemic. It’s been an incredibly difficult year. I have seen countless examples all across the country of business owners overcoming adversity and demonstrating the kind of ingenuity, adaptability and resilience that entrepreneurs are known for.”
Kevin Sherry, executive director, Enterprise Ireland, commented: “A strong start-up economy is absolutely vital to the future of Ireland and scaling and growing the export and start-up base is one of Enterprise Ireland’s strategic prioities. In what has been an incredibly challenging time for all businesses, it is really important to recognise 125 of Ireland’s most exciting new start-up companies with ambitious growth plans. Start-ups are a powerful driver of economic growth, new talent and innovation.
“Now, more than ever, we need to be innovative and carve out more niches in international markets where business can thrive. Despite the impact of Covid-19, 2020 was another successful year for Irish start-ups, with growth noted in the life sciences and ICT sectors. We are also seeing new opportunities for ambitious entrepreneurs and start-ups in the green economy as well as doing business in a post-pandemic environment.”