Ireland case study

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Ireland is a small, modern, European trade-dependent economy with an estimated GDP of US$ 186.7 billion in PPP terms (US$208 billion when the official exchange rate is used) in 2012. With a population of 4,775,982 (2013), this translates into a GDP per capita of US$ 40,700. Prior to the onset of the global financial meltdown in 2008 which has severely dented Ireland’s economic prowess – at least in the short term – Ireland, then famously labelled “Celtic Tiger” enjoyed almost four decades of extraordinary success where it was transformed from being a poor country on Europe’s periphery into one its richest countries. Between 1970 and 2000, the Irish economy grew at an average annual rate of 8.7 percent. From a GDP per capita of US$ 2000 in 1970, it boasted of income levels similar to the United Kingdom, Germany and France by 2006. The key to Ireland’s transformation was massive inflows of foreign direct investment, as US and other multinationals sought to take advantage of Ireland’s location, its young, well-educated labour force, its language (Ireland is the only English-speaking country in the common currency euro area) and its sound financial and macroeconomic policies. Ireland has been a member of European Union (EU) since 1973, which has significantly contributed to its success in pursuing an entrepreneurship development path. The EU afforded Ireland a large market, making the reaping of economies of scale possible, and also provided Ireland with hefty direct assistance for the development of infrastructure. It also helped to nurture a culture of accountability, because as a beneficiary of EU’s Structural Fund, Ireland had to abide by its stringent process and policy monitoring and evaluation guidelines In an effor... ... middle of paper ... ...ring firms with more than 30 employees also shot up from 1% of sales to almost 4% in the mid-1980s and to over 6% by 1995. Shortly before the Economic Crisis hit, Ireland was well on its way to launching a strong entrepreneurial development drive. Taking advantage of its previous success in creating an entrepreneurial base, Ireland laid out a vision where entrepreneurship would become a significant driver of future economic growth, given its critical role in driving innovation, competitiveness and growth. The policy was intended to guide the entrepreneurial development in an approach similar to the drive that attracted foreign direct investment into the country. It outlined key areas for development related to culture, education and entrepreneurship amongst women and immigrants with the aim to make Ireland one the best locations to start and grow a business.
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