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Sinn Féin launches proposal to enable the young unemployed to become entrepreneurs

12 August, 2010


Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Arthur Morgan TD and Dublin Councillor Seán Crowe today launched a set of proposals aimed at making self employment a realistic option for young people. They have highlighted the need improved social insurance safety nets for the self employed as a key change to encourage the young unemployed to become entrepreneurs.

Speaking to the media this morning at Leinster House Deputy Morgan said:

“Part of the solution to the epidemic of unemployment amongst under 25’s needs to be to help these young people to become entrepreneurs. Today we are setting out a number of steps that we believe could make a real difference.

“More and more young people are leaving Ireland. If this continues, the ability of the economy to recover will be undermined as we will have exported all our young skilled workers.

“Just 1.3% of workers aged between 15 and 24 are self employed as most young people have neither the confidence nor the practical support to start up their own enterprises. Setting up their own businesses needs to be made a real option for the young unemployed. I know young people who would love to stay in Ireland and build their own business but just don’t see this as possible at the moment. New businesses fit for a new economy needed to be created – the young unemployed are the people best placed to creative innovative modern business that can thrive into the future.

“In terms of encouraging would be entrepreneurs one of the first things that need to be done is to ointroduce improved social insurance safety nets for those who choose self-employment in the event of their business venture not working out.

“But, as in all business start-ups, young people need access to business credit and Sinn Féin is proposing the establishment of a State Bank with business credit as one of its remits, similar to the functions of the ICC, which actually returned profits to the Exchequer before it was privatised.

“The education system also needs to play it part. We need to see more focus on encouraging creativity, investigation and ‘thinking outside of the box’.

“Ultimately we need provide young people with the confidence and the practical support to enter into entrepreneurship.”

Councillor Crowe said:

“In Tallaght in my own constituency there are currently 2,753 people under the age of 25 unemployed. The Government is doing nothing for them. The government is hoping they will emigrate and many have already gone. This is not good enough. If it wont intervene to create jobs, the very least they can do is enable and facilitate those young people who want to start new businesses to do so.

“Enabling the young unemployed to start up new businesses would be a huge boost to the local economy in Tallaght and other unemployment black-spots throughout the state. Implementing these proposals would keep many young skilled educated people in Ireland and also contribute towards rebuilding the economy.” ENDS

Sinn Féin proposals to make self employment a realistic option for young people:

• Introduce a €500 million Youth Jobs fund to be accessible to young entrepreneurs.
• In order to ensure a culture of innovation in the workforce, the secondary education system needs to put far more focus on encouraging creativity, investigation and ‘thinking outside of the box’.
• In order to encourage young people to become entrepreneurs, introduce improved social insurance safety nets for those who choose self-employment in the event of their business venture not working out.
• Establish dedicated business and science parks in each county, linked to universities and ITs, which would offer onsite enterprise agency and banking support and access to university partnerships. There are some parks that fit these criteria, but they must become the benchmark. Too often enterprise agencies see enterprise parks as merely a property relationship of landlord and tenant rather than as an economic entity with a much wider potential.
• Make running a business easier through the establishment either by the state or by co-operation between enterprises (for example on a regional basis) of a firm or co-op to provide tax preparation, payroll and legal services, accounting, preparation of business proposals for requests for capital and regulatory compliance services for a fee – thus reducing costs for small and start-up businesses and making it easier for them to focus on their product.
• Ensure that start-up enterprises can access credit. Establish a state bank that would have business credit as one of its remits, similar to the functions of the ICC, which actually returned profits to the Exchequer before it was privatised.
• Engage local business networks to help youth businesses by transferring their knowledge, experience and contacts. They can do this by mentoring, including them in their networks, bringing the youth businesses into their supply chains or providing pro-bono advice and training.
• Double the target for supporting High Potential Start-ups (HPSUs) from 200 to 400 by the end of 2010.
• Launch a national entrepreneurship programme with incubation centres around the country. Cost: approx €25 million.

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