The Small Firms Association has called on the Government to provide funding for entrepreneurs from ethnic minorities
SFA director Patricia Callan said that, as non-nationals make up 10 per cent of Ireland’s workforce, there is clearly “untapped pool of entrepreneurial talent in Ireland”. She said most of the 200,000 non-nationals in the workforce are in the 24 to 44 age range, when most people set up in business. “With only 28 per cent of Irish nationals now falling within this age bracket, non-nationals will clearly become increasingly important in contributing to our pool of potential entrepreneurs,” Ms Callan said. “Promoting entrepreneurship should become one of the new Government’s top priorities, as new businesses starting up has proven to be a key contributing factor to economic growth, and thus it is essential that we have more entrepreneurs in times of economic downturn.” The SFA pointed out that there is currently no specifically-designed mainstream programme that targets the particular problems encountered by ethnic minority entrepreneurs such as racism, language problems and social exclusion. Ms Callan also called on the Government to review the regulations governing non-nationals in setting up a business in Ireland. She said the current system whereby “business permission” is required is “highly restrictive” and is “denying Ireland a great source of entrepreneurial talent”.