Number of new Irish startups hits 18-year high

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The number of new Irish startups surpassed 20,000 for the first time in nearly two decades last year, according to Vision-net.ie.

Some 20,997 companies were registered in 2016, an 8% increase on 2015 and the biggest year of activity since 1998. It was also the second highest number recorded in 36 years. 

Professional services was the most popular industry, with over 4,000 firms established. The finance sector was second with 2,959, and it boasted the biggest percentage boost in new blood, with activity 44% higher than in 2015.

The number of new firms getting down to business in Dublin was up a massive 45.5%, far above second-placed Cork, which saw a 12% increase. The difference elsewhere around the country was much more marginal.

At the same time, there was a 10% decrease in insolvencies. There were 984 startups unable to pay their debts. It was the first time there were less than 1,000 insolvencies recorded since 2008. The sectors of wholesale and retail, as well as manufacturing, were the most badly affected.

Vision-net.ie managing director Christine Cullen said:

"Following the publication of 2015’s excellent figures, we talked about a robust and visible recovery. This year, it's plain to see that Ireland has entered a completely new post-austerity economic cycle powered by strong growth. 

"Record-breaking company start-up numbers, the lowest number of insolvencies since the onset of recession and consistent growth in sectors devastated by the crash, like finance and construction, are all indicators of this. 

"Our economy is more open to lending and risk-taking, and our businesses are eager to expand and undertake new projects."

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