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CSO statistical release, , 11am

High Growth Enterprises


High-growth enterprises with 10 or more employees in the base year by turnover and employment, 2014 - 2017
High-growth enterprises No. 5,3385,5568,0526,967
       TurnoverNo. 3,1462,8094,8143,585
       EmploymentNo. 6318097171,026
       Turnover and employmentNo. 1,5611,9382,5212,356
Non-high-growth enterprises No. 9,8339,6747,5679,510
Enterprises active for at least three years1No. 15,17115,23015,61916,477
Rate of high-growth enterprises%35.236.551.642.3
1Enterprises that were active for at least three years from the reference year and with 10 or more employees in the base year

Over 42% of enterprises were high growth in 2017

Figure 1: High-growth enterprises by turnover and employment, 2014 - 2017
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This new release details the existence and characteristics of high-growth enterprises in the Irish business economy. The release analyses enterprises active over a three-year period and who had 10 or more employees at the beginning of the period. Enterprises in the Structural Business Statistics series were linked across multiple years to measure their growth. Both turnover and employment are the criteria used to determine if firms were high-growth enterprises. This release gives a more detailed insight into the contribution of higher performing enterprises to the Irish economy.

A high-growth enterprise is any enterprise with an annualised growth rate of greater than 10% in turnover and/or employment over the three-year period. A very high-growth enterprise had growth greater than 20% per annum. This release also details the contribution of young high-growth enterprises, known as "gazelles", to the Irish business economy. A young enterprise is defined as an enterprise which is less than five years old.

The key facts from this release are:

  • In 2017, of the qualified enterprises, 42.3% were high-growth enterprises in terms of turnover and/or employment growth.
  • Of the 6,967 high-growth enterprises in 2017, 2,356 met the high-growth criteria for both turnover and employment.
  • There were 1,026 enterprises which had high growth in employment only in 2017, the highest total in the last four years. See Figure 1 and Headline Table.