Agri-food business Keogh’s Crisps is a leading player at a major entrepreneurship think-in this morning.

The new Entrepreneurship Forum, which is holding its first meeting today, is chaired by Dragon’s Den and Avego MD Sean O’Sullivan.  It includes the inventor of the SMS message, serial entrepreneurs in the tech and services sector, leading academic on innovation and the entrepreneur behind Keogh’s Crisps Tom Keogh.

The think-in business leaders will assess and make recommendations on how to stimulate greater levels of start-up business in Ireland. It aims to meet regularly over the coming months before preparing a policy statement for the Government on entrepreneurship.

“Some 67 per cent of all new job-creation comes from businesses in the first five years of existence. That is why supporting entrepreneurship and start-up activity is a central part of our action plan for jobs. Since taking office we have introduced a range of changes to support greater activity in this area, including a microfinance scheme and credit guarantee scheme to provide better access to finance, as well as establishing a network of first-stop shops in every county to make it easier for businesses to access supports,” said Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD.

“I am convinced that by developing and implementing an ambitious and realistic plan in this area we can deliver an increase in the numbers of entrepreneurs and in the number of successful start-ups, and make a major contribution to the jobs and growth we need,” he added.

Speaking about the work of the forum, its chairman Sean O’Sullivan said: “There is a clear and urgent need for the people of Ireland to make more jobs. This may seem impossible, like some kind of fantasy, that jobs can be created out of thin air.  But that’s what entrepreneurship is, creating opportunity and economy out of courageous people discovering and creating market needs, and filling them.  If not us, who?  If not now, when?”