32,000 people in Ireland set up new businesses in 2013 and 85% of those expect to become employers, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, or GEM, published this morning. The report suggests that one in eleven of the adult population is engaged in some form of early stage entrepreneurial activity, and that the rate of early stage entrepreneurial activity is at its highest since the onset of the economic crisis. 

Paula Fitzsimons, one of the authors of the report, says that Ireland measures up extremely well with our European counterparts, adding that we come behind only the Netherlands for early stage entreneuperial activity. Ms Fitzsimons says that the rate at which individuals are turning to entrepreneurship out of necessity continues a downward trend, adding that at the height of the economic crisis, about one third of people decided to become an entreprenuer because they had no choice. There is now real support for entrepreneurs, including measures in the Government's Action Plan for jobs, which wants to build an "eco-system" for small start-up businesses through Local Enterprise Offices. Entreprenurs are urged to seek all the supports available to them, Ms Fitzsimons adds. She also notes that the majority of early state entrepreneurs expect to be employers in the future. 

A son of the racehorse Frankel, along with his mother Crystal Gaze, was sold last evening at auction for €1.43m to MV Magnier. Magnier - the son of Coolmore owner John Magnier -  said that the foal had been bought for a racing partnership, of four people. Yesterday's sale marked Goffs' first London Sale at Kensington Palace.

Goffs' chief executive Henry Beeby said the Frankel sale was the most famous but not the biggest sale last night. 53 horses were up for sale, with 41 sold at an average of £193,000. The top price of £1.3m went to Cappella Sansevero, trained by Ger Lynam from Meath. Mr Beeby said Goffs move the sale to London to take advanage of the huge appeal of the Royal Ascot event, which is being held this week. He says that what is good for Irish horse racing is good news for British horse racing and vice versa.

MORNING BRIEFS -  Newspaper reports suggest that Carphone Warehouse is to become a mobile operator in Ireland. It has finalised an agreement with Hutchison Whampoa to offer services on 3's network, and the deal is expected to be officially announced next week. Carphone Warehouse already operates a service in Britain on Vodafone's network using the brand Talkmobile.

*** The UK pound is now at the strongest level in 20 months on speculation that the Bank of England will raise official interest rates sooner rather than later as the economy there improves. Against the dollar, sterling traded above $1.70 for the first time since 2009 yesterday. Against the euro, sterling appreciated to 79.59 pence at one stage yesterday, the strongest level since October 2012.