Inspiring a New Generation of Entrepreneurs

1 November, 2016

min read

500 Transition Year students from Gaeltacht regions in Cork, Galway, Donegal, Kerry Mayo, Meath & Waterford will participate in the Údarás na Gaeltachta – Clár na gComhlachtaí this year.

Seán Kyne TD, Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs launched the 2016/17 programme in Coláiste Cholmcille, Indreabhán this week and students from the school were on hand to display some of the innovative ideas that they have for their fledgling businesses!

Clár na gComhlachtaí is a hands-on business learning experience developed and delivered in partnership with Junior Achievement Ireland (JAI) and is taught through the Irish language to students attending schools in Gaeltacht regions. Based on the well-established JA Company Programme and Company of the Year Competition, students create, operate and manage their own business. The programme provides numerous opportunities for the development and reinforcement of important academic and leadership skills.

Local business volunteers, each of whom is recruited, vetted, equipped, trained and supported by JAI, mentor the students alongside their teachers as they move from the idea generation stage, to production, marketing, sales, finance right through to going to market.

In February 2017, students will be challenged to report on the progress they have made at Regional Finals. These events in each region will allow the emerging entrepreneurs to display their finished products at trade stands, and be interviewed by a judging panel before pitching their business ideas on stage to a public audience. The regional finals are an ideal opportunity for the students to showcase the knowledge gained and the skills acquired in the course of the programme.

Based on research on entrepreneurship education, students participating in Údarás Clár na gComhlachtaí are more likely to start their own business, are at lower risk of being unemployed, and are more often in steady employment into adulthood. These projected outcomes are based on the success schemes around Europe, which incorporate the JA Company Programme, on which the design of Clár na gComhlachtaí is based.

Seán Kyne TD, Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs commented “I’d like to congratulate Údarás na Gaeltachta and Junior Achievement Ireland for their collaboration on Clár na gComhlachtaí and I wish the students all the best in this very worthwhile initiative. Businesses are at the heart of the economy in this country and this programme is a wonderful opportunity to instill entrepreneurship in young people.”

On behalf of JAI, Chief Executive Helen Raftery said: “We really appreciate the support from Údarás na Gaeltachta to run Clár na gComhlachtaí in schools across the Gaeltacht areas. We believe students completing the programme will enjoy the real-to-life learning opportunities and, with the encouragement of their teachers and their business mentors, they will gain confidence in many transversal skills that they will need into the future like team-working, negotiation and public speaking.

Stiofán Ó Cualáin commented “Ba mhaith leis an Údarás comhgháirdeas a dheanamh le JAI agus le scoláirí idir bhliana na Gaeltachta agus a gcuid múinteoirí as ucht leanacht le Clár na Gaeltachta arís i mbliana. Bheínn dóchasach go dtiocfaidh rath ar na hiarrachtaí seo do thionsclaíocht nua don Ghaeltacht amach anseo…
Mol an óige agus tiocfaidh sí !”