Covid-19 and the Irish SME Sector: Supporting Recovery and Growth

Vodafone’s new small business report is based on a nationwide survey of 500 SMEs operating in rural and urban areas in Ireland and across a wide range of sectors. In addition, a European economic benchmark analysis was carried out by economist Stephen Kinsella to assess the opportunities and challenges for SMEs in Ireland vis-à-vis other European markets.

 

Key Findings from Irish SMEs: 

 

Business Impact of Covid-19 & Future Outlook 

  • 70% suffered full or partial closures during lockdowns  
  • 75% experienced some reduction in financial performance – (an average of 34%)  
  • 67% are confident in the future of their own business  
  • 50% anticipate growth in their business in the next 2 years 

The Role of Technology 

  • 43% claim they could not have functioned productively without investment in technology  
  • 50% of SMEs invested in technology such as communications or digital channels  
  • Only 19% of smaller Irish firms are ‘highly digitalised’ 

Remote Working 

  • 75% of SMEs have been unable to facilitate remote working  
  • 50% said scaling IT and phone systems was the biggest issue when trying to facilitate remote working  

Investment in technology 

  • 25% aren’t confident their staff have the necessary digital skills  
  • 50% plan to invest specifically in digital skills training  
  • 60% plan to invest in people training in the next two years 

The findings in this report point clearly to a need for greater structural supports to help Irish SMEs recover from a period of significant uncertainty and instability, increase productivity levels, access new markets and generate new entrepreneurs and start-up enterprises. At the heart of the findings, digitalisation is identified as a key driver for recovery, with significant growth potential for Irish SMEs who engage in digital transformation. 

 

The full report can be downloaded here

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In this issue
SFA Fortnightly Update
SFA in the media
IP and SME’s: Taking your ideas to market
National Workplace Wellbeing Day 2021
Covid-19 and the Irish SME Sector: Supporting Recovery and Growth
Upcoming Whistleblowing legislation
VAT Alert – eCommerce VAT change & Refresher on Brexit VAT
SFA Employment Law Seminar
Intellectual Property Webinar
SFA Skillnet Ireland Masterclasses & Workshops