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60% of SMEs have benefited from the economic recovery with a further 20% expecting to do so this year

By 25th May 2018No Comments
  • 8% increase in SMEs reporting benefits of economic recovery over two years
  • Just 3% of SME’s believe the State encourages and fosters entrepreneurs
  • 40% of SMEs have yet to see an upturn in business

In a survey of 250+ business owners/managers throughout Ireland, 40% said their business is still waiting to feel the positive impact of Ireland’s upturn in economic fortunes. This was one of the findings of the nationwide survey carried out by Big Red Cloud, a leading supplier of online accounting software to the Irish SME market.

In the survey, respondents were asked their views pertaining to 2 key issues

  • Business performance following the Recession
  • Ireland’s attitude towards the self-employed

Speaking of the findings, Marc O Dwyer, CEO of Big Red Cloud,

What’s interesting is that 8% of SMEs have reported a change in their economic fortune for the better over the last two years. Worryingly, 40% revealed that they are still struggling – though encouragingly perhaps, 20% of these businesses believe they will be in a better position by the end of 2018.

From a macro perspective, all figures for Ireland point to strong economic growth. While this is to be welcomed, this broad brush cannot be swept across the nation, as it is not reflective of the fortunes of all of Ireland’s SMEs. Our business landscape is made up of a myriad of different entities –  businesses operating in import and export led industries, and within that we have big business, medium sized business, small business and start-ups. We wanted to drill down to get a better understanding of how Ireland’s SMEs are feeling – and how this compares with the sentiment they expressed this time 2 years ago when we put the same question to them”.


Marc continued,

When asked their feelings on Ireland’s treatment of the self-employed the response was pretty clear with 97% reporting dissatisfaction to some extent – but to varying degrees. Given the importance of small businesses in Ireland to job creation and economic growth, the Government would do well to listen to those at the coal-face and to turn their attention to looking at how the can foster a more encouraging environment for SMEs”.


How would you describe Ireland in terms of its attitude towards self-employed?

  • It encourages and fosters entrepreneurs (3%)
  • It encourages the self-employed to an extent but there’s a lot more that could be done (38%)
  • It stymies entrepreneurial spirit (12%)
  • The enhanced social welfare benefits are welcome but tax treatment of the self-employed in Ireland is still unfair (47%)


About Big Red Cloud

Big Red Cloud is a leading supplier of online account’s software to the SME market in Ireland. 50,000 companies use their award-winning suite of products.

Marc O'Dwyer

After completing a Graduate program in Marketing, Marc’s impressive sales career began at Allied Irish Banks, Pitney Bowes and Panasonic where he received numerous Irish and European sales performance awards and consistently exceeded targets and expectations. In 1992, Marc’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to set up his own business, Irish International Sales (IIS). Initially, this company was a reseller for Take 5 Accounts and Payroll software. Within four years, IIS became the largest reseller of Take 5 in Ireland, acquiring four other Take 5 resellers. He also found time to set up two mobile phone shops under the Cellular World brand and a web design company offering website design services for small businesses. In 2001, he bought the majority share in a small Irish software business, Big Red Book. At that time, the company was losing money. The company became profitable within two months, and Marc then acquired a payroll company to compliment Big Red Books Accounting products. In 2003, IIS were appointed as Channel Partners with SAP for their new SME product, SAP Business One. Marc sold his Take 5 business and concentrated on developing this new market for SAP As a result, by 2007, IIS was recognised as the largest Channel Partner for SAP in EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa). In 2008, the IIS Sales Manager bought the Company from Marc in an MBO. He launched Big red cloud in June 2012, the online version of big red book, to date the company successfully converts 59% of trials into sales and the number of customers is growing rapidly. Marc continues to run both Big Red Book and Big Red Cloud which now support 75,000 businesses. He is a very keen sportsman, having played rugby for 20 years, represented Leinster at under 16 and under 20 levels, and league squash with Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club for 10 years. Marc has competed in 11 Marathons, including the London and Boston Marathons, and has completed several Triathlons and Half Ironman races. He has also completed six Ironman Races in Austria(x2), Frankfurt (Germany), Nice (France) , Mallorca (Spain) and Copenhagen (Denmark)

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