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Recalling the Celtic Tiger

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Edited By Eamon Maher, Eugene O'Brien and Brian Lucey

This book looks at various effects, symptoms and consequences of the period in Irish culture known as the Celtic Tiger. It will trace the critical pathway from boom to bust – and up to the current beginnings of a similar, smaller boom – through events, personalities and products. The short entries offer a sense of the lived experience of this seismic period in contemporary Irish society.

While clearly not all aspects of the period could realistically be covered, the book does contain essential information about the central actors, events, themes, and economic trends, which are discussed in a readable and accessible manner. Each entry is linked to the overall Celtic Tiger phenomenon and its immediate aftermath.

The book also provides a comprehensive account of what happened in this period and will be a factual resource for anyone anxious to discover information on the areas most commonly connected to it. All entries are written by experts in the area. The contributors include broadcasters, economists, cultural theorists, sociologists, literary critics, journalists, politicians and writers, each of whom brings particular insights to some aspect of the Celtic Tiger.

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Entrepreneurship (Constantin Gurdgiev)

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Constantin Gurdgiev

Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is defined as ‘the capacity and willingness to develop, organise and manage a business venture along with any of its risks in order to make a profit. The most obvious example of entrepreneurship is the starting of new businesses’.

When it comes to the Celtic Tiger, this traditional definition has to be expanded to also include rent-seeking (pursuit of subsidies, state contracts, and supports), and rampantly speculative real estate development. Modern Irish entrepreneurs can thus be divided into several, sometimes-overlapping categories. On the one hand, there is a large number of genuinely creative and value-additive entrepreneurs who built successful, sustainable financially and economically (although not always socially or environmentally) companies like Ryanair, Cooley Distillery, Superquinn, Jordan Grand Prix, Stripe, Altech, and others. On the other, there is an equally formidable army of Irish entrepreneurs who have gone from being rich to becoming bankrupt, and making and losing fortunes in real estate development and speculation. The third, and perhaps more Celtic Tiger-proximate tribe of Irish entrepreneurs, are the rent-seeking, state-connected leaders of businesses that built their wealth on exploiting Irish governments’ penchant for financial and tax engineering, and in some instances cronyism and corruption that permeate Irish society.

The power of the first group of entrepreneurs drove both the original Celtic Tiger and the real, tangible economic progress over the last two and a half decades. In contrast, speculative and state-reliant entrepreneurs and real estate developers have been responsible...

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