EU praises Ireland for young entrepreneurs

ONE-IN-FIVE students involved in mini-companies goes on to create their own businesses when they leave school, a new study says.

Ireland has more students than any other EU country involved in small businesses and is being held up as an example of how to encourage entrepreneurs.

But unlike in Norway and Sweden where the study was conducted, creating small companies is not part of the Leaving Cert curriculum and does not gain students marks.

The European Commission is trying to encourage governments to include this kind of business studies in education at all levels.

Industry and Enterprise Commissioner Gunter Verheugen said: “From an early age, school education should stimulate young people’s awareness of entrepreneurship as options for their future, give them the means to develop basic entrepreneurial skills and help them to be more creative and self-confident in whatever they undertake.”

Universities and technical institutes should integrate entrepreneurship as part of the curriculum, and require or encourage students to take entrepreneurship courses.

Dundalk Institute of Technology was singled out by the commission as an example of good practice at the higher-education level.

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