Start-ups have bounced back this year. Photo: Marvin Meyer

42% rise in start-ups so far this year

The first half of 2021 has seen growth in new company registrations in all but one county in Ireland.

Cork has seen the highest number of new registrations outside of Dublin and there has been a 42 per cent increase in start-ups generally.

That’s according to new data from credit risk analyst CRIFVision-Net who released new figures this week showing a 45 per cent increase in insolvencies too, thanks to the pandemic.

There has been a total of 13,955 new companies registered so far this year. March was the strongest month for start-ups recording a total of 2,715 new registrations. However, the second quarter of the year proved to be the busiest quarter, recording a 20 per cent growth in company registrations compared to Q1.

While Dublin accounted for the largest number of new start-ups, recording 6,631 new registrations, Cork (1,399) and Galway (552) experienced the largest growth of all the urban areas outside of the capital, with registrations representing a 45 per cent increase in each county, respectively. Mayo was the only county who experienced a decrease in registrations.


According to the data, the legal, accounting and business sector accounted for the largest portion of new start-ups in the first six months of the year, registering a total of 2,543 new companies, up 19 per cent per cent when compared to 2020.

This is followed closely by wholesale and retail (2,233, +144 per cent), financial intermediation (2,038, +47 per cent) and construction (1,345, +37 per cent).

Despite ongoing restrictions on the hospitality sector, hotels and restaurants have also experienced an increase in start-ups, recording a total of 728 new start-ups (+47 per cent) in H1. This growth has been supported by Government supports and continued access to credit.

Community, social and personal services were the only industry that experienced a decline in growth, with only 942 new registrations this year (-13 per cent).


The impact of Covid-19 on companies is clear, with a total of 371 companies becoming insolvent during the first two quarters of this year, representing a 45 per cent increase on the same period last year.

The most affected sector during this period was legal, accounting and business with a total of 63 insolvencies in the first half of the year (+75 per cent). This was followed by financial intermediaries (46, +28 per cent) and construction with 39 insolvencies (+22 per cent).

Christine Cullen, Managing Director of CRIFVision-net, said: “While the Covid-19 pandemic provides incalculable challenges for many businesses across all sectors, the tenacity of the Irish entrepreneur is an encouraging force for economic recovery. Strong growth in start-ups across most industries suggests that the Irish business community has identified a new wave of entrepreneurial opportunities during lockdown and are pursuing their development.

“However, despite these early signs of recovery, many businesses are struggling and will continue to struggle for the foreseeable future, as evidenced by the increase in company insolvencies. These insolvencies are likely to increase, particularly in hospitality sector, as Government supports are rolled back and credit lines dry-up,” she added.

“Therefore, every support should be given to protect new companies and ensure their growth and development. Irish SMEs have proven to be an invaluable source of employment and revenue for the Irish economy; continuous dialogue between industry and policymakers is now needed to continue growth into the future.”