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Irish start-up figures bounce back despite pandemic

Wednesday, 11th November, 2020 1:42pm

Despite the ongoing pandemic, Irish start-ups are on the rise again according to new figures this week.

Indeed the number of new companies in Q3 2020 was actually three per cent higher than Q3 2019.

The quarterly figures released by credit risk analyst CRIFVision-net reveal a 37 per cent (+1,487) quarter on quarter increase in company start-ups for Q3 this year compared to Q2, when Ireland experienced a significant decline in new start-up registrations due to Covid-19.

In total, 5,482 new companies were registered in Q3, representing a three per cent year-on-year increase compared to the same period in 2019.

Despite this increase, overall start-up figures for year to date are down 12 per cent when compared to 2019, demonstrating the wider impact of the pandemic on the start-up community.

Regional overview

A total of 19 counties in the Republic of Ireland experienced a year-on-year improvement in new company registrations for Q3 this year. Of those, Offaly experienced the largest increase in post-lockdown recovery presenting an increase of 45% in new registrations, while Dublin accounted for the largest number of new start-up companies in Q3 this year, recording a total of 2,539 registrations.

Cork recorded a total of 501 new company start-ups, a rise of two per cent.


Overall insolvency levels for year to date are down compared to 2019 (419 vs 481).

However, there has been an increase in figures for Q3 in 2020, where insolvencies exceeded last year’s number by 17 per cent (179 vs 153). This increase in insolvencies for Q3 can be widely attributed to the reopening of courts following a period of closure during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Christine Cullen, Managing Director of CRIFVision-net, said: “It is particularly encouraging to see the start-up sector in Ireland begin to rebound following what a very difficult start to the year – where new company start-up registrations reached a five-year low.

“The growth in start-ups this quarter is a clear indication of the prospects and opportunities in an economy that is beginning to find its feet again. However, following the Government’s recent decision to move to Level 5 lockdown restrictions for a six-week period, many SMEs are now faced with further challenges and setbacks. As a result, maintaining an environment that provides supports and promotes growth for the sector needs to be the priority.

“To date, the Government have been very proactive in creating and implementing supports for the SME sector in particular. However, the future threat of Covid-19 and what these additional Level 5 restrictions could mean for businesses across all levels still remains a real concern. In order to ensure that we create the most sustainable environment for businesses to survive and thrive, the focus needs to be on collaboration between Government and industry.

“The ever-changing landscape of Covid-19 will continue to be unpredictable and the key to mitigating damage in the coming months will rely on an agile and adaptable approach by businesses and Government,” she added.

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