Key questions to ask at your Singaporean Market Advisor meeting

Singapore, the gateway to SE Asia, is the regional business hub for ASEAN and the wider Asia Pacific region, providing stability and highly educated workforce, making it the perfect location to create a base.

If you are considering doing business in Singapore, please be sure to explore our top tips to enter the market below and also be sure to reach out to our team in Singapore

  • What are the core sectors and what sectors should I avoid?
  • Will I need a local partner company?
  • What kind of obstacles should I expect when entering Singapore?
  • What local competitors are active in this market?
  • What social norms should I be cognizant of when engaging in meetings with local people?
  • Will I need to set up an office in the region?
  • Will I need to hire local staff?
  • Can I relocate Irish staff in this region?

For more, please reach out to the Singapore region MA here and be sure to check out our Going Global Guide 

If you would like to know what to prepare ahead of your first MA call, click the graphic below

Doing Business in Mexico: Free Trade Agreement Webinar Series

With duty-free trade on most goods and a simplification of the customs procedures, the latest 2018 EU-Mexico trade agreement has improved the already positive and prosperous relationship between Ireland and […]

Construction in the UK: A Guide to Legal Challenges and the UKCA Mark – Webinar


In this webinar the speakers discuss some of the main legal and regulatory issues currently facing contractors, employers and suppliers in the construction sector across the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

This webinar also discusses the UKCA mark, the new UK product marking that will replace the CE mark on 1 January 2023 in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The UKCA mark will be required for construction products being placed in the market. We will also discuss the process of how to certify your products with the UKCA marking.

Speakers Include:

  • Jamie Ritchie, Partner, LK Shields

  • Dominic Jones, Partner, Blake Morgan

  • Lisa Boyd, Construction and Procurement Lawyer, Gateley Tweed LLP and Gateley Legal

  • Robin Byrne, Head of UK Office, NSAI Certification UK

    UK Health Care

    Support for Health Care Innovation in the UK

    This document is a simple comprehensive reference guide to the complex world of Government and Institutional support for health care innovation in the UK. It is not an analytical document but rather a descriptive one describing the role and support available from each institution and programme. It also provides extensive links to these organisations’  websites which give further detail on how to apply for support, as well as case studies on companies they have supported. In each section, the programme’s relevance to innovators has been highlighted. The healthcare innovation support environment is dynamic, with Government prone to introducing new initiatives every eighteen months or so, whilst rarely curtailing existing schemes. Consequently, over time a wide range of institutions and programs evolve.

    The document can be read in conjunction with a workshop, which was delivered in November 2022, which took a more analytical view on the issues confronting the NHS, the structural changes currently occurring in health care provision and the engagement and procurement challenges for innovators in winning adoption and diffusion in the UK’s National Health Service. The documentation from this workshop can be requested by getting in touch with our UK team here.


    Read the report here.

    Enterprise Ireland’s top tips for entering the Spanish and Portuguese markets

    Historically pillars of trade, the Iberian nations of Spain and Portugal offer exceptional export opportunities to Irish companies

    Home to the international powerhouses of Inditex, Banco Santander, BBVA, Ferrovial, and TAP (Transportes Aereos Portugueses), the purchasing power in this market, along with the cordial nature of the population, makes it a highly attractive export region. The team in Enterprise Ireland’s Madrid office are here to support you in entering this dynamic and growing market.

    • Do your research. The Spanish and Portuguese populations combined amass to more than 10 times that of Ireland, while Iberia’s landmass is 7 times larger than Ireland’s. With more people, comes more business and innovation, and thus more competition. Really get to know the market you’re entering, and who you’ll be competing with.
    • Create a great elevator pitch. Spanish and Portuguese businesses are more hierarchal in nature, and they like to work on equal terms, so make sure you are bringing your best to the table, as you can presume they are. A good elevator pitch that clearly explains who you are, what you do, and what you can offer is a great way of proving your interest and significance. First impressions and personal relationships are important here.
    • Have a summarised value proposition. This is a highly price-sensitive market. Being price competitive will open the door to a consumer base of more than 50 million. However, having a good USP and a clear value proposition will help you to find a successful gap in the market. There is great purchasing power in Spain and Portugal, but you must find a way for your company to tap into it.
    • Be aware of your distribution channel. If you intend to export to, or scale in this market, know how you will make that happen. Consider the steps that must be taken between your product/service in Ireland and your customer in Spain or Portugal. Assess the potential hurdles in providing your good or service to this market.
    • You and/or your product need to speak the local language. Overcoming language barriers can be one of the most difficult aspects of exporting to this market. English levels vary significantly geographically and by sector. Having a trusted translator may be necessary for meetings and correspondence, which EI Madrid can help you with. More practically, your product itself must be accessible to the population you are selling to; an app that functions solely in English will not succeed in the wider population.
    • Assess your resources. How can you make the most of the human and financial capital that you have? With a good business team and the backing of Enterprise Ireland, at home and in market, there is great potential for success when entering the Spanish and Portuguese market. Know your weaknesses and seek help from EI to develop them into strengths. 

    Enterprise Ireland is committed to helping Irish firms succeed in global markets and have experts on hand, ready to help you access the Spanish market.

    Our Market Advisors are always available to support you and provide business expertise and on-the-ground knowledge.

    For more, download our Going Global Guide

    If you would like to know what to prepare ahead of your first MA call, click the graphic below

    Insights into the Commercialisation of Diagnostice webinar

    Insights to the Commercialisation of Diagnostics

    Enterprise Ireland UK in collaboration with Roche Diagnostics, the world’s largest biotech company and the world leader in in vitro diagnostics, examined the route to commercialisation, market access and economic modelling in this Insights into the Commercialisation of Diagnostics webinar.

    Women in Business

    Women Entrepreneurs Raising Venture Capital

    The evidence is in, and it’s quite clear – gender-balanced teams and businesses perform better. That’s a key reason why, under its ‘Women in Business’ strategy, Enterprise Ireland has over the past decade focused on diversity and increasing the number of women-led companies in Ireland.

    The strategy has yielded results, says Eimear Ní Nualláin, senior investment adviser in growth capital at Enterprise Ireland. “In 2011, just 7pc of Enterprise Ireland’s high-potential start-ups were led by women. By 2021, that figure had risen to 29pc. So while we may not be at parity yet, the progress is clear,” she says.

    Positive momentum is clear

    Positive momentum is also evident from the Female Founders & Funders 2022 report from Tech Ireland, which states that women-founded tech firms in Ireland raised €230m in 2021. While that’s an increase of 120pc on 2020, it still only represents just 13pc of all funding in this space.

    Across Europe more broadly, only 1.8pc of capital raised by tech companies in 2021 went to all-women founding teams, according to European Women in Venture Capital (VC).

    As a result, Enterprise Ireland continues to focus on this area to bring about positive, sustainable and long-lasting change in the entrepreneurship ecosystem and to harness the full talent and expertise of a diverse population.

    “This is vital,” explains Ní Nualláin, “as we position Ireland as a leading location for entrepreneurs to start and scale businesses, and to be ambitious about the growth they can achieve.”

    While Enterprise Ireland invests directly into companies, it also invests indirectly through seed and venture capital funds.


    “For example, under our most recent seed and venture capital scheme, Enterprise Ireland sought commercial fund proposals that help progress key EI strategic priorities, including our ‘Women in Business’ strategy,” says Ní Nualláin.  “Indeed, 70pc of the fund managers supported under such schemes have women at the partner/investment manager level.”

    Ireland leads on gender diversity

    As a result of programmes such as these, Ireland is already at the vanguard when it comes to nurturing gender diversity in private equity.


    According to Level 20, a not-for-profit organisation founded to improve gender diversity in private equity, Ireland is top of the leaderboard regarding women being senior investment professionals. In fact, women make up 28pc of the people at this level in Ireland’s private equity and venture capital industry, compared with 10pc across Europe.


    “The reasons why women have been under-represented in this space are multifaceted and complex,” explains Ní Nualláin. “One is that, the under-representation is particularly pronounced in certain industry sectors – such as deep tech, manufacturing, engineering and construction


    Under its ‘Women in Business’ strategy, Enterprise Ireland is focused on increasing the participation of women across the enterprise eco-system.”


    Enterprise Ireland is also seeking to double the number of women leading companies that grow internationally and the number who participate in our management development programmes. Through “The Level Project” we are working with Irish companies to improve gender balance in their leadership teams.


    At the same time, we’re striving to increase the number of female-founded high potential start-ups by 30%.


    “All of this is key ,” says Ní Nualláin, “not least because  harnessing the full talent and expertise of our diverse population will result in better businesses and an opportunity for faster economic growth.”

    Collaboration with the IVCA

    Recognising that raising equity finance is tough and time-consuming, Enterprise Ireland is collaborating with the Irish Venture Capital Association (IVCA) on a pilot programme of events focused on women entrepreneurs.

    Webinar, Equity Masterclass, mentors and networking

    This programme kicked off in July with a webinar which included panel discussions from experienced women funders and a successful founder, to identify and provide examples of fundraising strategies.


    According to the Tech Ireland Female Founders and Funders 2022 report, companies with women founders raise investment amounts that are, on average, 20pc lower than the average amounts raised by all companies.


    Therefore, in recent weeks, together with the IVCA, we ran an in-person equity masterclass for women entrepreneurs, to develop a roadmap for those currently raising funds who wish to develop their investment skills and network with other women founders.


    In addition, the IVCA has provided women VCs as mentors to the entrepreneurs who attended the masterclass.


    Women VCs are also participating in Enterprise Ireland investor-ready panels, where women entrepreneurs on the programme can present an investment proposition and receive feedback from an independent panel of mentors with experience in fundraising, start-ups, and business leadership.


    In November 2022, the IVCA hosted a joint networking event aimed at bringing funders and founders together.


    With this pilot series of events, we are aiming to support innovative women-led companies with high growth potential seeking venture capital finance.


    Watch a recording of the webinar for women entrepreneurs raising VC funding.


    Discover Enterprise Ireland’s action plan for women in business.



    Webinar title: Climate Action Funding & Supports - Manufacturing sector

    Climate Enterprise Action Fund Webinar Series – Manufacturing Sector

    The transition to a low carbon world has become a defining force for business. For Irish companies, this means opportunities to compete and grow as global investments in a sustainable future accelerates.

    The manufacturing sector has the capability to address many of the problems in our society, including the threat from climate change. However, as the world aims for net zero emissions by 2050, the sector faces significant challenges in reducing its own energy consumption.

    This webinar includes the following guest speakers who will share their sustainability journey, as well as provide helpful advice to companies of all sizes:

    • Nick Reynolds – CSR Advisor, Business in the Community

    • Patrick Beausang – CEO, Passive Sills

    • Andrea Cawley – Commercial Director, Automatic Plastics

    • Patrick Buckley – Managing Director, EPS

    Watch the Climate Enterprise Action Fund webinar series here.

    Webinar title: Climate Action Funding & Supports - food and Beverage sector

    Climate Enterprise Action Fund Webinar Series – Food and Beverage Sector

    The transition to a low carbon world has become a defining force for business. For Irish companies, this means opportunities to compete and grow as global investments in a sustainable future accelerates.

    The food & beverage sector has the capability to address many of the problems in our society, including the threat from climate change. However, as the world aims for net zero emissions by 2050, the sector faces significant challenges in reducing its own energy consumption.

    This webinar includes the following guest speakers who will share their sustainability journey and provide helpful advice to companies of all sizes:

    • Deirdre Ryan – Director of Origin Green, Bord Bia

    • Owen Keogh – Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, Lidl Ireland

    • Louise Brennan – Head of Technical, O’Brien Fine Foods

    • Rosaleen Hyde – Operations Manager, Ballymaloe Foods

    • Padraig Mallon – Sustainability Director, Kerry Group

    Watch the Climate Enterprise Action Fund webinar series here.

      CEAF ICT & Services

      Climate Enterprise Action Fund Webinar Series – ICT & Services

      The transition to a low carbon world has become a defining force for business. For Irish companies, this means opportunities to compete and grow as global investments in a sustainable future accelerates.

      ICT has the capability to address many of the problems in our society, including the threat from climate change. However, as the world aims for net zero emissions by 2050, the sector faces significant challenges in reducing its own energy consumption and environmental impacts.

      Similarly, there are many ways in which services can be part of the green economy and drive sustainable development. Business services can contribute to increasing sustainability for processes and products across industries, and speed up the transition towards a green economy.

      Within both sectors, sustainability is now recognised as a priority issue.

      This webinar includes the following guest speakers who will share their sustainability journey and provide helpful advice to companies of all sizes:

      • Yvonne Holmes – Chief Sustainability Officer, AIB

      • Andrea Carroll – Sr. Susutainability Programme Manager EMEA, Amazon Web Services

      • Laura Costello – Strategy Director – Purpose & Planet, Thinkhouse

      • Eanna Glynn – Head of Sustainability, BidX1

      • Brian Minehane – Account Director & Sustainability Programme Lead, Ergo


      Watch the Climate Enterprise Action Fund webinar series here.


        Exporters seek to scale new heights at International Markets Week (IMW)


        While Ireland saw soaring exports in 2021, there’s no doubt companies everywhere are facing headwinds in the coming year. A recent Enterprise Ireland client company survey found that 35% view global market and economic uncertainty as the primary challenge for their business for the next six months. This survey, which was carried out before Enterprise Ireland’s recent International Markets Week (IMW) event, also found that one in three (32%) had expressed concerns about supply chain, price inflation and energy costs.  While one in four (26%) pointed to skills and talent shortages as being the biggest challenge to their business.


        Help was at hand, however, at the recent International Markets Week (IMW) event, which took place at the RDS in Dublin from 11th – 14th October. The four-day event saw hundreds of Irish exporters getting expert advice on their export strategies from Enterprise Ireland’s team of global market advisors from our network of offices around the world.


        “IMW has run annually for over 20 years and this year’s event was the biggest ever,” says Tom Cusack, Divisional Manager, Global Markets, Enterprise Ireland.


        “Not only that, but this was also the first time since the pandemic that the event took place in person. Last year, we held more than 1,600 virtual meetings during IMW. These were hugely beneficial, but our clients were also keen to return in-person consultations this year, and we held about 1,800 of those during the week at the RDS.”

        Timely advice from around the world

        Over the course of this year’s successful IMW, more than 600 Enterprise Ireland client companies held one-to-one meetings with 130 of our market advisors, who travelled to Dublin from our network of 40 market offices across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and the Americas.


        While exports from Enterprise Ireland client companies rose by 12% to €27.29 billion in 2021 – the highest ever level of growth in export value– the forecast slowdown means it’s timely for businesses here to assess and, where relevant, formulate their export and internationalisation plans for 2023.


        During their face-to-face meetings with some of our market advisors attending IMW, attendees were able to work out the most high-impact strategy possible for each individual market to which they export to or are currently considering for market entry.


        “We have consistently seen that having a joint action plan with Enterprise Ireland significantly strengthens a company’s opportunity to grow and scale internationally,” says Tom.

        Irish export confidence remains high

        Despite the challenging economic environment, there was a buoyancy among our client companies about future business sentiment and optimism.


        Nine-in-ten (91%) said they expect their exports to increase next year. Almost two-thirds (59%) said their export sales have increased so far this year when compared to last year, and almost one-third (32%) said they have remained stable.


        Most of the exporters we surveyed (84%) plan to enter new markets in 2023, with North America highest on the list, followed by Europe and the UK. Two thirds (62%) of those planning to enter new markets told us that expanding their overseas market presence is their biggest priority for the next year.

        Taking the leap into export

        This year’s event also included a schedule of meetings for companies that are currently focused solely on the domestic market, but that have the ambition to export and scale internationally.


        These meetings were designed to help them understand their value proposition and potential channels to market.


        “Our market advisors were also able to support these potential exporters as they considered how to kickstart their market research and gather market intelligence,” says Tom. “Doing that will enable them to assess which market to target first and how to approach the market entry plan.”

        Benefitting from specialist in-depth advice

        Those attending IMW were also able to drop into the Global Ambition lounge, where they can meet with specialist advisors to drill into specific areas of interest where they might be.  This included areas such as sustainability, digitalisation and how this can drive competitiveness.


        Almost three quarters of the businesses surveyed (74%) said that having green credentials with a sustainability policy in place is considered an important factor when competing to win new business overseas.


        “Other specialist sessions revolved around how companies could attract, retain and develop the right talent within their organisation,” says Tom. “Sales and marketing were also a focus of specific meetings, as was procurement.”


        Funding for international growth is, of course, also an area of interest for exporters that are eager to grow their overseas sales, and relevant experts were also on hand to advise on this.


        Global marketplaces, such as Amazon, are becoming increasingly vital online sales channels for many Irish exporters, and companies that went to IMW were also able to arrange meetings with experts on this sector.


        Other specialist advisors were available to discuss where companies may be encountering challenges or opportunities when it comes to working with global multinationals based in Ireland


        Whether it’s advising existing exporters or supporting the next generation of would-be successful exporters, time and again International Markets Week has proven to be an invaluable event that ultimately helps to support ambitious Irish entrepreneurs on their exporting journeys.