Donegal Micro Enterprise

A young man in a black jumper operating machinery

The economy of County Donegal is predominantly an economy of small businesses. Over 95% of all businesses in the county employ less than 50 employees and of these the vast majority are firm with less than 10 employees. These local businesses reflect both the dispersed settlement pattern of the county, which in turn reflects its geography and topography, and the traditional sectors which have up until recently dominated the local economy – agriculture, fishing, clothing and textiles.

Agriculture and fishing are still strong sectors in the local economy with a range of strong exporting firms in both sectors. The country’s main fishing ports of Killybegs, which accounts for 25% of the national catch, Burtonport and Greencastle being the main centres. In addition to sea fishing, Donegal has a strong and developing aquaculture sector both in the fin-fish and shellfish sectors.

In recent years there has been a growing number of new indigenous firms in the emerging sectors of information technology, mobile telecommunications, software and IT services. Central to this has been the role of Letterkenny Institute of Technology ( and the close links which the Institute has with both local businesses and the development agencies, such as and

Significant potential exists for further development of the food sector in the county based on the pristine environment and quality food produce which the county enjoys and for the development of new businesses in the energy and renewables sector.

These indigenous sectors and firms are complimented by a strong presence of successful IDA ( )supported overseas companies in the county which include United Health( US Healthcare Claims Processing), Pramerica Systems Ireland Ltd ( US Software Development Centre), Medisize Donegal Healthcare( US medical products) ZEUS Industrial Products( US Medical devices) , SITA PTS( Swiss Software Development).