Last year saw an increase in entrepreneurial activity in Ireland, according to a new report from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.
The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) report estimates that approximately 2,200 people set up a new business each month last year. This is an increase from the previous year.
The report also found that almost three quarters of these entrepreneurs expect to become employers.
It said while the majority of the businesses will remain small, the employment impact of the enterprises is significant when taken together.
The report also notes that there are two and a half times as many men as women who are entrepreneurs.
A significantly higher proportion of Irish entrepreneurs are working in medium or high technology sectors (11%). This compared to an OECD average of 7.3% and an EU average of 7.9%.
Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton noted that it is successful businesses, and not government, that create jobs.
''That is why the government's action plan for jobs includes a series of new measures to support entrepreneurs and new start-ups, and to drive continued growth in this critical sector of the economy,'' Bruton said.
''It is good to see increased numbers of enterprising individuals determined to turn difficult circumstances into an opportunity for personal and commercial success,'' he added.
However, the report also found an increase in those who are motivated to set up their own businesses by necessity. This rose to 30% in 2011, up from 19% in 2008 and 6% in 2007.
It also found that there are fewer investors and a decline in the amount of money being invested.
''There is a need to continue to improve the perceived attractiveness of entrepreneurship as a career option and of perceived entrepreneurial opportunities,'' commented Declan Hughes of Forfás.