There is a very palpable sense of recovery over recent months, and indeed the presence of cranes against the Cork skyline underlines in a very clear way that the tide ha clearly turned after such a sustained period of economic challenge, says Siobhan Finn, Project Director of Cork Innovates.
“The number of start-ups have more than doubled in 12 months, new job announcements are now weekly events, and the sense of renewed confidence is very much in the air,” she says.
“It is estimated that, for every new job created, two and a half ancillary positions appear, and, in that regard, there is no doubt that the Cork business scene in everything from the multinational to the start-up entrepreneur are clearly on an upward trajectory.”
Cork Innovates is the platform for the Cork Entrepreneurship Steering Group, established in November 2011. The group is composed of membership from key regional business support agencies, including the Local Enterprise Offices, Enterprise Ireland, Cork City Council, Cork County Council, UCC, CIT, Cork BIC, and Cork Chamber of Commerce, working together in partnership to drive the long-term entrepreneurial objectives for the region.
“From the job seeker to the established small business, Cork Innovates, like its colleagues, aims to inspire and support business development in Munster,” says Ms Finn. “We are about delivering added value to the business ecosystem here in the region in the form of support agencies, third level institutions and local authorities.”
In her position at the centre of innovation and entrepreneurship in the region, Ms Finn has a telling overview of business sentiment and the general health of the economy looking forward to 2015. She also sits on the Advisory Group on Small Business, part of a Government advisory body that includes entrepreneurs, business representative bodies, officials from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise, and Innovation, as well as state enterprise support agencies.
Adapted from Irish Examiner, January 5th, 2015. Written by John Daly.