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Taskforce Convenes to Discuss Progress on Issues Related to SMEs

The SME Taskforce Group met on Wednesday the 16th of November at 10:30am to discuss a range of topics which benefit SMEs as well as the issues they are currently facing. The meeting was chaired by Minsters Damien English and Dara Calleary and included representatives from a variety of businesses and groups such as Enterprise Ireland, IBEC, Chambers Ireland, The Small Firms Association, The Irish SME Association, and The Irish Congress of Trade Unions. The meeting was attended both in person and virtually.

The meeting featured presentations and speakers from the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation, and Skills (DFHERIS), the Irish Universities Association (IUA), and the Department of Enterprise, Trade, and Employment (DETE). The topics which were discussed were Skills, Access to Finance, Digitalisation of SMEs, White Paper on Enterprise Policy, and the Clustering Policy, before the meeting rounded off with a discussion on the Priorities and Future of the Taskforce Group.

DFHERIS and IUA addressed attendees on the Skills Agenda in Ireland and the importance of it in relation to SMEs. Speaking on behalf of DETE were representatives from both the EU, Digital, and Access to Finance and Enterprise Strategy, Competitiveness, and Evaluation divisions, who then discussed Access to Finance, Digitalisation of SMEs, White Paper on Enterprise Policy, and the Clustering Policy.

Brief updates were also provided for a number of other areas. These were: The SME Test, The SME Portal, Increasing the Number of First-Time Exporters, Enhanced Assistance for High Potential Businesses, Ensuring Comprehensive Agency Support for SMEs, Increasing Public Procurement Opportunities for SMEs, SME Management Skills, and Ireland’s Climate Ambitions.