Government must follow through with policy and oversight body.
The Entrepreneur must be central focus of any initiatives.
Incorrect decision to place enterprise offices under Department of Environment must be reversed.
ISME, the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association, has welcomed the report of the Entrepreneurship Forum, released today, in support of the development of a National Entrepreneurship Policy, which the Association has been demanding for many years and now expects to see real continuous action rather than simply a report published.
The success of this report will be in the development of a national policy on entrepreneurship and the setting up of an oversight body, comprised of relevant actors, to monitor outcomes and suggest future initiatives, with the entrepreneur as its central focus.
Commenting, ISME CEO, Mark Fielding said, ''There is a major job to be done to encourage and increase entrepreneurial activity and the efforts must include education, finance, taxation and both private and public enterprises and agencies. Private actors will involve themselves in business as long as the eco-system is supportive. The Government's job is to ensure that eco-system is encouraging, especially for new entrepreneurs''.
''It is disappointing to note that the report fails to address the issue, as already articulated by ISME, that micro enterprises, the seed-bed of entrepreneurship, will fall under the management and direction of the Department of the Environment, through the Local Enterprise Offices of county councils. These bodies do not have the ethos or experience of dealing with entrepreneurs''.
''At a time when entrepreneurs need all the assistance they can get, the Government is upsetting the whole infrastructure, people, advisors, management; creating mini-turf wars in the boards and uncertainty among the clients. Any changes to the existing network structure must keep the needs of the entrepreneurial SME client at the core of any such deliberations and, in that context, a client-focused system under the control of the Department of Enterprise would have most merit''.
''While we welcome the report as a first step, the background decision to change the ethos and structure of early-stage government intervention must be amended to ensure that Enterprise looks after enterprise. The introduction of the Department of the Environment is confusing, divisive, wholly unnecessary and will set back entrepreneurship by decades'', Concluded Fielding.