Entrepreneurs Bullish On Hiring Plans

27 Sep 2021 | 11.47 am

Entrepreneurs Bullish On Hiring Plans

EY survey of leading owner-managers

27 Sep 2021 | 11.47 am

Almost nine out of 10 entrepreneurs in Ireland are intending to increase headcount in the next 12 months, according to the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Alumni Survey 2021.

The survey, an annual barometer that looks at the key issues impacting entrepreneurs on the island of Ireland, highlights that the broad view for the future is positive amongst entrepreneurs, despite the twin headwinds of Brexit and Covid-19.

The report strikes a note of caution, stating that the availability of talent was the biggest threat to growth, with 96% of those surveyed citing talent issues as a major challenge to expanding their business, in terms of both the availability of a skilled workforce across the island and the ability to attract and retain the right talent to their businesses.

According to the survey, 40% of entrepreneurs believe access to funding is an impediment to growth.

Roger Wallace, Partner Lead for EY Entrepreneur of the Year, said: “The survey results have overwhelmingly demonstrated strength of Irish privately owned business and entrepreneurs. Despite the huge challenges faced over the last 18 months, the significant majority of entrepreneurs surveyed have growth and expansion at the centre of their plans for the coming months and years.”

The survey also found that 44% of entrepreneurs perceive the Northern Ireland market as presenting new opportunities, as it takes advantage of its access to both the UK and EU markets.

Also highlighted in the EY survey:

• Over the next three years, 40% of the EY entrepreneur cohort plan to expand to global markets and create new business models, while 39% expected to participate in M&A activity.

•  Over a third said the area of their business in which they expected to implement the most change was in leadership and talent development, while 36% also expected that research and development and new product or service innovation would be a key area of focus.

• The majority (79%) agreed that the priority for their senior leadership teams will be the ability to manage multiple and continuous transformations within their organisation, while 70% stated that leadership must lead disruptive innovation and business re-imagination.

• In relation to how Covid is impacting on enterprises, respondents cited their current most significant challenges as supply chain delays (41%), balancing remote versus on site working (40%), the supply and cost of raw materials (36%), wage inflation (36%) and forecasting challenges (30%).

Neil Gibson (pictured), chief economist, EY Ireland, commented: “The macro economic data points to a sharper recovery from the pandemic across the island than most forecasters predicted, and the EOY survey results show us that our entrepreneurial family are also beating expectations.

“Despite challenges that no business plan will have prepared them for, many have pivoted to seize new opportunities or completely changed their ways of working and their business model from what they had originally planned.”

 

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