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Enterprise; Trade and Employment | Irish Youth Entrepreneurial Incentives

To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise; Trade and Employment if any particular incentives continue to be considered to encourage the entrepreneurial skills of young people throughout the country particularly in the aftermath of Covid-19 and Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

The 31 Local Enterprise Offices nationwide act as a ‘first-stop-shop’ providing advice and guidance, financial assistance, and other supports to those wishing to start or grow their own business. Their business advisors and mentors offer signposting to the programmes and supports that will help and encourage new entrepreneurs start and successfully run their own businesses.

The LEOs continue to provide advice and support to entrepreneurs to pursue their business ideas and look for opportunities to start up new businesses, including a broad range of training programmes. These include the Start Your Own Business Programme and the Mentor Programme.

Encouraging and promoting an enterprise culture is an important area of activity for Local Enterprise Offices. The LEOs continue to support entrepreneurship training in the education system as a critical element in the future development of small business in Ireland.

EI via the LEO Centre of Excellence provide ‘Entrepreneurial Education Programmes’ to primary schools across Ireland, who have opted in. These programmes aim to complement the school curriculum by introducing entrepreneurial skills to primary school pupils from an early age. A critical component in the delivery is to teach young pupils entrepreneurial skills through practical hands-on experience.

The Student Enterprise Programme, an initiative run by the network of Local Enterprise Offices, is Ireland’s largest and most successful student enterprise programme with over 26,000 second level students taking part each year. Students from 1st to 6th year get to do everything a ‘real-life’ entrepreneur would do, from coming up with the business idea to marketing, sales and preparing a business plan/business poster. The National Final for the ‘Student Enterprise of the Year’ award is held in May of each year

Enterprise Ireland also has a number of start-up supports for entrepreneurs, including young entrepreneurs, such as:

New Frontiers is the National Programme designed to develop entrepreneurs delivered by Institutes of Technology and Universities nationwide. The programme takes place over three phases and consists of practical and interactive workshops, personalised one-to-one mentoring, financial support and co-working space.

Competitive Start Fund: €50,000 equity investment designed to accelerate the development of high potential start-up companies by supporting them to achieve commercial and technical milestones such as evaluating international market opportunities or building a prototype.

Student Entrepreneur Awards: An annual event led and managed by Enterprise Ireland. The competition is open to full time registered third level students attending college on the island of Ireland.  Students get the opportunity to turn their entrepreneurial ideas into commercial businesses. These winners are also given access to mentoring supports from Enterprise Ireland and the programme sponsors.

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