“To create more jobs, the European Union and Ireland need to do more to unlock the potential of entrepreneurs, particularly young entrepreneurs”, Senator Thomas Byrne, the Fianna Fáil MEP candidate for Midlands North West has said. “We need to build on the potential of programmes like the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme which encourages research and innovation.”
He was speaking in Granard, county Longford, following the official opening of a new research and manufacturing facility for Lir Agri. The company manufactures cleaning agents that farmers use to maintain a high level of hygiene and cleanliness in their dairy systems. Initially, the new facility will provide six jobs.
Senator Byrne said, “Ireland is acknowledged as a world leader in attracting foreign direct investment. By contrast we give far less prominence to the role of entrepreneurs in the economy despite the enormous potential for risk takers with new ideas to lead Ireland’s recovery. Multinationals will undoubtedly continue to play a very significant role in our economic life but now is the time to unleash the potential of entrepreneurs – and in particular young entrepreneurs – if our country is to prosper again.”
“Specific measures that should be addressed to help young entrepreneurs, include:
- improved access to credit
- a mentoring programme
- increased PRSI benefits
“Other practical measures would be to examine how the unfairness in tax treatment between the self-employed and PAYE workers can be closed and how to provide access to vacant or underutilised public property for entrepreneurs or business start-ups to use as incubation centres.
“These are all initiatives I intend to explore, if I am elected to the European Parliament.