Skills for Life: Citi Foundation & JAI Challenging Students to Acquire Entrepreneurial Skills

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Photo 4Pictured at the Enterprise in Action launch are Ryan Conroy, Student, St. Paul’s CBS; Sinead Henshaw, M.D. Operations Business & Chair of Community Affairs Group, Citi; Paschal Donohoe, T.D., Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform; Helen Raftery, CEO, JAI; Abieyuma Obasuyi, Student, Loreto College Crumlin; Mary Kelleher, Transition Year Head, Loreto College Crumlin

JAI is excited to announce the launch of a new entrepreneurial programme for senior cycle students called Enterprise in Action. Enterprise in Action, sponsored by Citi Foundation, is designed to promote the relevance of entrepreneurial thinking and provides a structured 5-week programme to allow students to practice innovative thinking and challenges them to understand ethical decision-making.

In 2016/17 80 professionals from a range of supporting organisations including Citi are volunteering to work with more than 2,000 15-17 year olds in their own classrooms to complete Enterprise in Action. Over the course of five weeks, Enterprise in Action volunteers will serve to highlight the role of business in Ireland and introduce young people to entrepreneurship in a practical way that equips them with life skills which can be carried into adulthood.

EIACiti volunteers Caitriona Penston, Fran Burke & Edna Lyatuu HoganParticipating students will also have the opportunity to apply to participate in Innovation Camps where students from a range of schools will come together to address a specific challenge over the course of one day. Working in groups students from different schools will combine creative thinking, teamwork and effective communication skills to come up with innovative solutions to a set problem.

Speaking at the launch of the Enterprise in Action programme, Minister Paschal Donohoe, T.D. stated that, “Initiatives such as Enterprise in Action are essential for fostering entrepreneurial attitudes and skills, which will ensure Ireland continues to be one of the most entrepreneurial countries in the world. Entrepreneurship is a key element in the health and wellbeing of any thriving economy. We must ensure that we support young people to acquire the skills and confidence they need so that face any challenge, and shape their careers in the future world of work. I commend Junior Achievement and Citi for such a wonderful initiative.”

JAI Chief Executive Helen Raftery said: “Thanks to the support of Citi more than 2,000 students around the country will learn the benefits of an entrepreneurial mind-set, be introduced to the elements of a successful business start-up and develop their own product or service. Through their journey they will also have the full support and expertise of a trained business volunteer in partnership with their teacher. The Enterprise in Action programme is a critical step in increasing the entrepreneurial knowledge and innovativeness of Irish second level students.”

On behalf of Citi, Sinead Henshaw, M.D. Operations Business & Chair of Community Affairs Group said: “We are delighted to support the Enterprise in Action programme, which will not only reinforce the value of education, but will also cultivate entrepreneurial thinking and skills among students throughout Ireland. We are privileged to support these early innovators as they begin their journey into entrepreneurship.” 

Data highlights the significant social and societal impacts to support the provision of wide-ranging entrepreneurial educational experiences for students while in formal education.  A recent European Commission report concluded that students participating in entrepreneurship education are more likely to start their own business and their companies tend to be more innovative and more successful than those led by persons without entrepreneurship education backgrounds. Furthermore entrepreneurship education alumni are at lower risk of being unemployed, and are more often in steady employment.


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