- by Megan Gilmer on 06/02/2024

Data overview

According to the data, March, April, and May of last year recorded the highest number of new company start-ups with 6,598 in total. November was the worst month for new registrations (1,573) in 2023, while May was the best month (2,527).

Despite the overall increase in activity among the start-up community in 2023, there were some signs of caution, with two consecutive months of YoY decrease in growth recorded in November (2023: 1,676 vs 2022: 1,834) and December (2023: 1,753 vs 2022: 1,858).

Regional overview: 2023 vs 2022

Of the 26 counties in the Republic of Ireland, a total of 19 recorded an increase in new company start-ups in 2023. In comparison with one year previous in 2022 when 23 counties recorded a decrease in new company start-ups YoY.

  • Offaly experienced the largest percentage increase, recording a total of 224 new companies in 2023, up 28% when compared to 2022.
  • Offaly was followed by Mayo (+19%), Waterford (+15%), and Galway (+12%).
  • Leitrim (-9%, 111), Longford (-7%, 114), and Laois (-4%, 260) were the counties to record the highest percentage decrease in the number of start-ups established YoY.

Dublin homed the highest number of start-ups in Ireland with 9,883, with Dublin 17 recording the highest YoY percentage increase (+71%) in the capital followed by Dublin 7 (+63%), Dublin 12 (+35%), and Dublin 6 (+22%).

Sectoral Overview 2023 vs 2022

In 2023 the majority of industries experienced an increase in start-up activity. The strongest performing sectors were motoring (+23%), fishing (+17%), transport, storage and communication (+10%), computers (+10%), health (+10%), legal and accounting (+10%) all up compared to 2022.

Manufacturing, traditionally a strong performing sector of the Irish economy, suffered a YoY decrease of -10%. While real estate also had a -2% decrease compared to 2022.

Overall, the weakest performing sectors were extra-territorial organisations and bodies (-67%), mining and quarrying (-32%), and agriculture (-11%).

Commenting on the 2023 end of year figures, Christine Cullen, Managing Director of CRIFVision-net said:

"In examining the business landscape,we have observed a solid rise in start-ups in 2023. There seems to be a surge emerging beyond major urban centers. This trend may be influenced by the prevailing housing crisis coupled with low unemployment rates and resource constraints.

"Another interesting finding is around business closures. Our latest analysis covers both dissolved entities which encompasses both insolvencies and general closures which offers a more comprehensive view of business discontinuations. Our findings reveal that 33% of companies face closure within the initial four years, with particular vulnerability evident in years 3 and 4.

"On insolvencies specifically, our research indicates that 25% of all insolvencies involved companies incorporated in the last four years. This underscores the need for increased local and government support, acknowledging challenges business owners face such as high energy, rental costs, and the continued uncertainty caused by inflation.

"A need for enhanced assistance during the first five years of operation is crucial. If we can proactively address these challenges, the Irish government can create an environment that nurtures the growth and sustainability of emerging businesses leading to a more robust and resilient economy."

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