Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Regional Development
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Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Regional Development

Edited by David Smallbone, Markku Virtanen and Arnis Sauka

Entrepreneurship and innovation are arguably the main drivers of economic development today. This book explores the two in depth, at both the national and regional levels, using a variety of methodologies. The expert contributors discuss the subject from a policy perspective, with case studies from a host of countries including new member states of the EU as well as established EU member states. Split into three parts, the book focuses on: innovation, entrepreneurial activity and regional development, and entrepreneurship and SME policy.
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Chapter 4: Entrepreneurship and industrial policy in Ireland

Colm O’Gorman and Declan Curran


Encouraging entrepreneurship is a central component of industrial policy in many countries. This chapter investigates how Irish policy-makers have sought to influence the extent and nature of entrepreneurship in Ireland. The authors describe Ireland’s industrial policy and Ireland’s entrepreneurship policy, focusing on the period since 1958. They review critiques of Irish policy. Using data from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) they present evidence of the outcomes of entrepreneurship policy. They conclude with a discussion of how the Irish policy experience might inform policy-makers in the ‘new’ Europe. They argue that lessons for policy-makers include: (1) do not pursue stand-alone entrepreneurship policies; (2) target entrepreneurship policies; (3) measure the success of entrepreneurship policies in terms of the impact of entrepreneurship, rather than in terms of increases in the rate of entrepreneurship; and (4) be patient, as industrial development takes time.

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