Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship may be defined as “skill in starting new businesses, especially when this involves seeing new opportunities”.

Do you have a burning desire to become an entrepreneur? To be your own boss, make your own hours and have complete autonomy?

The recent changes to methods of work have made many people reconsider their working lives, to consider a move away from living life as an employee, to becoming self-employed. The freedom that has come with remote working has given many people a better work-life balance, and returning to the Monday to Friday 9-5 corporate structure might not seem so appealing.

Is starting your own business the answer?

There are many factors to consider in deciding whether to become an entrepreneur. First and foremost, will it make you happier? Self-employment requires a huge amount of self-motivation and resilience. We hear the success stories, but not everyone manages to succeed. There is risk attached to striking out on your own – are you the type of person who thrives on risk? Or do you prefer the security of a regular salary? It can take a long time for a new business to become profitable, it is wise to keep this in mind.

The Idea

Do you have an innovative idea for a new product with the potential to take the world by storm? Or do you just not want to have a boss? It is vital to have a firm foundation. A strong idea, for a new product or service, to build your business plan from.

Support

In Ireland, the best place to start is with your Local Enterprise Office. They can support you in exploring and developing your new business idea, offering training courses on taxation, basic book-keeping, advertising, along with mentoring. They can also guide you through the different financial supports available.

New Frontiers is a programme offered by Enterprise Ireland through Institutes of Technology and Technological Universities throughout Ireland. It is structured in three phases offering guidance, mentoring, co-working spaces and financial supports to assist you in the development of your business idea. There are also college courses offered throughout the country such as Food Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology offering an excellent route to creating a food business.

If you are unemployed, you may qualify for the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance, a scheme run by the Department of Social Protection, which supports those out of work into becoming self-employed. Depending on your circumstances you may qualify for grant aid for some of the costs associated with setting up a business, along with a weekly social welfare payment.

Legalities

In setting up your new business, there are several structures to choose from. A sole trader (just you), a partnership (where you share the business with another person(s)) or a limited company (which offers the greatest protection if the business gets into debt). Each structure has advantages and disadvantages – the choice you make depends on your individual situation.  

You must register your new business with the Companies Registration Office , and with Revenue for payment of tax. It is important to register to keep the taxman happy and also in order to avail of financial supports.

Decision Time

With a new business, many people find themselves wearing many hats – at least until they can afford to bring in employees. While your core product or service will be your focus, you will also find yourself book-keeping, marketing, advertising, researching tax law, future planning and exploring sources of funding.

The life of an entrepreneur is often a very demanding one – but it can ultimately be a very rewarding one too.

Sources and further information:

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