With Business Connect, we aim to shine a light on some of the successful collaborations between different parts of Ireland’s business community and to create a pipeline of opportunities for all businesses, large and small. With the Business Connect event and this follow-up report, we are beginning a long overdue dialogue between Ireland's large and small businesses.
Ireland is a nation of small businesses. Small firms with less than 50 employees account for 98% of the total number of businesses and employ one in every two private sector workers. These companies make up one third of the total value of the Irish economy and are responsible for one third of business investment. Perhaps most important of all, they are present in every village, town and city in the country.
Another vital part of the business ecosystem, of course, is the community of larger businesses, both indigenous and multinational. Despite accounting for less than 2% of total enterprises, companies with more than 50 employees are responsible for employing the other half of the private sector workforce. There is no doubt that these businesses play a major role in our economy, making large contributions to the tax base, productivity, exports and investment.
Zooming in on the expenditure of multinationals, currently they source €4.5 billion of goods and €5.7 billion of services from indigenous Irish businesses. This amounts to 18.1% of their total spend on goods and 7.3% of their total spend on services. Our aim in the SFA is to shift more of this spend to indigenous suppliers, with dividends for small firms and the economy as a whole.
Read below for our newly published report from our recent Business Connect marketplace event.