Wednesday, 16 June 2021
Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment
Small and Medium Enterprises
39. To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the funding that will be provided to deliver a Ministerial-led SME and entrepreneurship implementation group to coordinate the delivery of supports for SMEs across all sectors of the economy in addition to the single SME portal to streamline access to assistance as outlined in the Economic Recovery Plan 2021. [32275/21]
As Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, I am very proud of our small business community who have shown immense drive, commitment and flexibility during the pandemic.
I and my colleagues across Government must now determine how we adapt our current policies to futureproofing Ireland’s workforce.
The Economic Recovery Plan focuses on anticipating and responding to the challenges ahead in terms of ensuring Ireland is well positioned to adapt and prosper into the future by having skilled people working in quality jobs in sustainable sectors.
Last autumn, the Tánaiste also established an SME Growth Taskforce of entrepreneurs, business leaders and other stakeholders to fulfil the commitment made in the “Programme for Government – Our Shared Future”, to draw up an ambitious long-term strategic blueprint for SMEs and entrepreneurs beyond COVID-19.
The resulting ‘Report of the SME Taskforce: National SME and Entrepreneurship Growth Plan’, which was published in January 2021 by my Department, sets out a wide range of recommendations with long-term strategic relevance for SMEs and entrepreneurs.
Importantly, the recommendations in the Report include measures to help SMEs and entrepreneurs to start up, scale up and access foreign markets, as well as recommendations aimed at helping SMEs to become more productive and ready for the transition to a digital, green economy.
My Department and its Agencies will be central to driving the recommendations of the Report. These proposals while not yet Government policy, are being reviewed and taken forward, as appropriate, by the Ministerial-led SME and Entrepreneurship Growth Plan Implementation Group during 2021.
The Implementation Group is co-chaired by Minister Robert Troy and myself, and is supported by Department and Agency Officials, and is funded from within my Department's current budget. The Implementation Group has already had a series of meetings where it has met with the Departments and Agencies who have responsibility for the policy and operational areas, and where appropriate the associated budgets, covered by the recommendations made by the SME Taskforce, to move these recommendations forward.
The SME and Entrepreneurship Implementation Group is committed to driving the new SME and Entrepreneurship Growth Plan, which is wholly beneficial to anyone trying to turn a business idea into a business reality.