Údarás na Gaeltachta Inspires a New Generation of Entrepreneurs

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Udaras LaunchHelen Raftery, CEO of JAI; Seán Kyne TD, Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs; Amy Ní Fhlatharta and Eoin Ó Murchú, students at Coláiste Cholmcille and Stiofán Ó Cualáin, Údarás na Gaeltachta

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 and students from the school were on hand to display some of the innovative ideas that they have for their fledgling businesses!

Clár na gComhlachtaíis is a hands-on business learning experience developed and delivered in partnership with 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, 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.

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.”

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.

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 of Údarás na Gaeltachta commented “Údarás na Gaeltachta would like to congratulate Junior Achievement Ireland and the Gaeltacht transition year students and teachers for undertaking the Clár na Gaeltachta programme again this year. I am confident that these efforts will inspire new Gaeltacht enterprises in the future – mol an óige agus tiocfaidh sí!”

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