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For Oral Answer on : 16/05/2023
Question Number(s): 110 Question Reference(s): 22630/23
Department: Education
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.


To ask the Minister for Education to outline the measures, if any, taken by her Department to encourage entrepreneurship and the development of business creativity among second level students; and if she will make a statement on the matter.


Across the education system, my Department has a number of measures that encourage entrepreneurship and the development of business creativity among second level students.

The Junior Cycle Business Studies specification encourages students to develop an appreciation of how their lives are shaped by economic and social factors.  They are enabled to make informed decisions, to better manage their personal financial resources and to be adaptable, creative, and enterprising. Business Studies also improves their knowledge and understanding of good business practice and of business as a productive activity. There are three strands to the Business Studies specification for Junior Cycle – Enterprise, Personal Finance and Our Economy. The enterprise strand encourages students to identify opportunities and turn them into practical and targeted activities within business and wider society through the development and application of their understanding, skills and values. It develops students’ basic understanding of the financial, marketing and operational functions of an organisation.

Various Senior Cycle programmes encourage and support entrepreneurship. 

In Transition Year, many schools develop their own enterprise module taking advantage of the flexibility provided by the programme. 

The Leaving Cert Vocational Programme (LCVP) composes of twolink modules. One of the modules is titled ‘Enterprise Education’ and explores entrepreneurship in the local, national and international context. Local enterprise is prioritised and students interact, visit and potentially interview local entrepreneurs as part of the programme. 
The Senior Cycle Business syllabus is currently under review in line with Senior Cycle Redevelopment. At present the syllabus offers students the opportunity to study three sections split into seven units. One of the seven units is titled ‘Enterprise’ and investigates the area of entrepreneurship from a theoretical and applied perspective.  The objective of this unit is to enable students to understand the importance of enterprise in business and the community.

There are many local enterprise programmes and initiatives that schools and their students engage with, such as Junior Achievement Ireland (in association with the Junior Cycle Teachers) and Young Economist of the Year (in association with the Professional Development Service for Teachers).  Each year over 22,000 secondary level students all over Ireland get to find out what it’s like to run their own business by taking part in the Local Enterprise Offices Student Enterprise Programme.

My Department has also recently engaged with the Munster Technological University (MTU), which provides GoalMine Transition Year Programme, a two-day living-lab experience for transition year students using a design driven innovation process. GoalMine stimulates and ignites the innate problem solving, critical thinking, and innovative mind-set of the participants through applied entrepreneurial and creative learning practice.

Other youth-orientated enterprise programmes which have received support from Dormant Accounts Funding, through my Department, include the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) Programme, managed by Foroige and the Young Social Innovators programme. NFTE is aimed at young people experiencing disadvantage in their lives and facilitates a number of interactive sessions that enable them to come up with a business idea, develop their product and or service and design a business plan. YSI programmes aim to help students, who are disadvantaged socially, educationally, economically or with special needs, to create team-based action-projects on issues they care about, putting their innovative ideas into action to bring about positive social change for the benefit of people, communities and the environment.