Attracting and retaining migrant-led start-ups and innovative entrepreneurs from outside the EU

A joint EMN Ireland/ESRI and Department of Justice and Equality conference

This joint conference hosted by EMN Ireland, within the ESRI, and the Department of Justice and Equality, will explore recent and new developments in efforts to attract non-EEA innovative entrepreneurs and start-up talent to Ireland.

Please register by Wednesday 22 January 2020 (at the latest). Enquiries to:

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About the event

This conference co-hosted by EMN Ireland, within the ESRI, and the Department of Justice and Equality will provide a timely opportunity to consider how best Ireland can harness non-EU start-up talent in the context of a newly revised Start-Up Entrepreneur Programme (STEP).

At the event, which will be opened by Minister Charlie Flanagan TD, the findings of a major new EU-wide study on the migration of innovative entrepreneurs will be presented, along with the Irish report Migratory Pathways to Ireland for Start-ups and Innovative Entrepreneurs. Schemes operating in other EU Member States will be discussed and interesting innovations in Estonia highlighted. MPI Europe will also provide international context.

The Department of Justice and Equality will discuss its experience of STEP so far and provide details on new enhancements to the programme. Finally, speakers from the domestic start-up community will discuss challenges and supports in place for migrant entrepreneurs in Ireland today.

Conference agenda


Arrival and Registration



Alan Barrett, Economic and Social Research Institute


Opening remarks

Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan, TD

Session 1

International start-up migration patterns and trends

Chair: Clare Dunne, Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation


Liam Patuzzi, MPI Europe

Margaret James, ICF (EMN Service Provider)

Ave Lauren, Future Place Leadership


Questions and Answers


Coffee Break

Session II

Migration of innovative entrepreneurs to Ireland

Chair: Michael Kirrane, Department of Justice and Equality


Emma Quinn, EMN Ireland/ESRI

TBC, Department of Justice and Equality

Aoife Gillespie, Philip Lee


Questions and Answers



Session III

Supporting start-ups and innovative entrepreneurs

Chair: Dr. Pramod Pathak, National College of Ireland


Kevin Donnelly, Enterprise Ireland

Michael O'Connor, CorkBIC

Denise Delaney, Central Bank of Ireland

William Conaghan and Lizzy Hayashida, Change Donations


Questions and Answers