The Research sets out to examine the main motivational factors that influence entrepreneurs to start-up micro/small enterprises and their perception of support from the Irish Government. The researcher employed a mixed method aproach to the study by conducting 8 semi-structured interviews with 5 entrepreneurs and 3 participants from the Department of Enterprise, Innovation and Jobs (DJEI), the Economic Institute of Social Research (ESRI) and the Central Bank of Ireland. A survey was conducted using a sample of 63 micro/small business owners. Three follow-up interviews were then conducted with the entrepreneurs to discuss the findings.
The research findings suggest that the entrepreneurs former place of employment is inadvertinly creating entrepreneurs. The findings also suggest that self-efficacy and risk taking is positively correlated to entrepreneurship, while simultaneously the fear of failure is a factor for many Irish entrepreneurs. The need for achievement and observing successful entrepreneurs were also prominent motivating factors for starting up a business. Having exposure to mentors was negatively correlated to entrepreneruship and the findings in relation to the economic environmnet being an influence on the entrepreneurs intention to start-up an enterprise were inconclusive. Access to finace was important in the decision to start-up a business for Irish entrepreneurs, however, the findings for Government support policies and entrepreneurial education were inconclusive.
The findings of the study did not apply to all regions of Ireland, as the sample population was primarily in the Dublin area. This research highlights the varying motivating factors that influence entrepreneurs to engage in entrepreneurial activity while simultaneously exploring the entrepreneurs’ perspective of Government support policies. Author keywords: Entrepreneurs, Micro/Small Businesses, Intention, Mentors, Push and Pull factors, Need for Achievement, Self-Efficacy, Government support policies, Entrepreneurial Education, Access to Finance, Perception