Enterprise Ireland supported companies created over 19,000 new jobs in 2017

3rd January, 2018

End of Year
Pictured (l-r) Terence O’Rourke, Chairman, Enterprise Ireland; Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD; Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland.
  • Every region recorded job increases with 64% of new jobs created outside of Dublin
  • Construction, Lifesciences and Engineering sectors delivered largest jobs increases
  • Enterprise Ireland launches new Market Discovery Fund, a key new Brexit response

Enterprise Ireland, the Government agency responsible for developing Irish business globally, has reported the creation of 19,332 new jobs by Enterprise Ireland backed companies in 2017. 209,338 people are now employed in companies supported by the agency. This is the highest total employment achieved in the history of the agency.

This represents a net increase of 10,309 jobs for 2017, taking account of job losses. In line with total employment levels, the net increase in jobs, is the highest on record with Enterprise Ireland. The job creation figures are up on 2016, despite the uncertainty that Irish businesses faced in 2017 in the context of Brexit.

Job creation was evenly spread across the country, with every county and region seeing increased employment. Two thirds (64%) of the new jobs created were outside of Dublin. The West, Mid-West and North West saw the largest level of increases at 7% in 2017.

Enterprise Ireland attributes this strong performance by Irish businesses to the continuing growth of an entrepreneurial climate for start-ups, allied to strong jobs growth in the Construction (8% increase), Engineering (8% increase), Lifesciences (8% increase), Digital Technology (6% increase), Electronics (6% increase), Food (4% increase) and ICT sectors (5% increase).

Making the announcement today at the headquarters of Enterprise Ireland client technology company Ding, Enterprise Ireland Chief Executive Julie Sinnamon said: “Today’s figures represent another year of strong performance by our client companies who now employ over 209,000 people and are a barometer of the robust health of Irish businesses. Despite the challenge and uncertainty created by Brexit, Irish companies have continued to grow their global exports, supporting strong job creation across all of the regions of Ireland.

“At Enterprise Ireland, our Strategy – Build Scale, Expand Reach 2017-2020 – is focused on transforming the innovation and competitive capabilities of Irish enterprise, to expand the global reach of ambitious Irish companies into diversified export markets and we are pleased with the results of the first year of our new strategy. It is imperative, however, that Irish businesses continue to build on the strength of their 2017 performance and implement robust plans to prepare for the impact of Brexit.”

Discussing the results, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, said: “Today’s results are consistent with the strong employment performance across the economy. Whatever the outcome of the complex Brexit negotiations that lie ahead, it is vital that as a country we are ready, and that the Government continues to take initiatives to bolster the capacity of our enterprise agencies to drive exports and support investment.

“As a rural TD from a border area, I am acutely aware of the challenges facing indigenous businesses as a direct result of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. In recent months, Enterprise Ireland, through funding provided by my Department, has launched new measures to strengthen the rural and regional economy, and to provide quicker access to innovation funding for exporting companies.

“Overall, my Department’s eight Regional Action Plans for Jobs, which will be a key focus of my work in the coming period, are now embedded across the country. They are excellent examples of government agencies like Enterprise Ireland, local authorities, the Local Enterprise Offices and businesses working together to tackle regional issues. These results mark another step in the right direction for our regional plans.”

Today, Enterprise Ireland also announced the launch of a new Market Discovery Fund to support Enterprise Ireland backed companies to diversify into new markets and promote new products to existing markets. The new fund, which is another Brexit response measure, will support companies to appoint in-market accelerators, set up an in-market office, attend and exhibit at trade shows, develop market research and collateral. There are three levels of funding available to companies: up to €35,000, up to €75,000 and up to €150,000.

Announcing details of the new Fund, Julie Sinnamon said: “In the context of Brexit, consolidating exports to the UK, while also expanding the Irish export footprint in markets beyond the UK, is a key priority for Enterprise Ireland. The new Market Discovery Fund, along with our intensive international programme of export focused trade missions, and our recently introduced Agile Innovation Fund, are key supports which will be instrumental to helping even more companies grow and reach new export markets. The new Fund further underpins our goal of increasing exports by €5bn by 2020.”

Today’s announcements were made at the offices of the Enterprise Ireland backed company Ding, the world’s most popular mobile top-up platform, used by hundreds of thousands of people every day in over 100 countries. In 2018, Ding are on course for a significant programme of investment and growth with plans to add another 50 people to their team worldwide to bring total employment to 250, as they seek to achieve revenue targets of $1 billion, in the coming years.

Download End of Year Statement 2017


Notes for Editor:

Key Results

Some of the key outcomes from 2017 include:

19,332 jobs created by client companies
10,309 net new jobs created
209,338 Enterprise Ireland supported jobs

90 High Potential Start-Up (HPSU) Funding approvals
91 Competitive Start Fund Approvals
63 Female led start-ups

€475m in Horizon 2020 funding secured to date
99 R&D approvals > €100k
1,065 collaborative innovations between industry and third level

232 client investments >€500k
1,391 new contracts secured with the assistance of Enterprise Ireland
56 first-time exporters outside the UK

See Regional country breakdown 

For reference , please contact:

Conor O'Donovan

Head of Communications

Enterprise Ireland

Conor o'Donovan

087 967 1342

Brigid Burke

Press Office

Enterprise Ireland

Brigid Burke

087 180 3995

Alan Barron

Press Office

Enterprise Ireland


01 631 2200