The annual GEM report also showed that 85pc of businesses surveyed expected to create jobs.
In addition, those who indicated that they are planning to start a small business in the next three years also increased significantly in 2013.
The report, which measures entrepreneurial activity, and is backed by Enterprise Ireland, Forfas the Department of Enterprise, also showed a narrowing of the gender gap.
There are now 1.4 times as many man as women who are business owners.
The report also showed that one in 10 are still having problems finding finance to keep their businesses going while informal investors continue to be a viital source of funding for small businesses.
And the rate at which entrepreneurs were discontinuing their businesses in 2013 to 1.9pc, compared with 1.2pc the previous year.
Jobs Minister Richard Bruton welcomed the report.
“We have great entrepreneurs in Ireland – we just don’t have enough of them,” he said. “I am determined to ensure that we in Government continue implementing the changes necessary to support more start-ups – and ultimately create the jobs we need.”