The digitalisation of small and medium enterprises in Ireland: Models for financing digital projects – Executive Summary

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The Innovation Finance Advisory team at the EIB Advisory Services conducted a study to identify the challenges to digitalisation of Irish SMEs 

The Irish economy is dominated by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and SMEs need to be placed at the core of any digital transformation strategy, considering their relevance to the Irish economy, with 99.8% of active businesses and 70% of the workforce employed in non-digital sectors such as services, construction and manufacturing.

A thorough analysis of the digitalisation of the Irish economy has unveiled a two-speed digi­tal economy. While Ireland is already in a strong position, being among the most digitalised coun­tries in the world (6th in the EU digital index DESI) for many years, the digital economy appears to run at two different speeds, with a small number of foreign-owned multinationals with high digi­talisation levels and productivity, and traditional indigenous SMEs, which are slower in leveraging digital solutions to reduce costs, drive innovation and expand market presence.

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European Investment Bank, The digitalisation of small and medium enterprises in Ireland: Models for financing digital projects – Executive Summary

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