“Entrepreneurship — in its broadest sense — is an individual’s ability to turn ideas into action,” said Professor Suzi Jarvis, founding director of the Innovation Academy at UCD.
“Some entrepreneurs will start companies, some will spin out companies from universities or corporations, and some will instigate change within larger organisations or at a societal level.”
The Innovation Academy has just celebrated its inaugural graduation ceremony, where 200 students were awarded Ireland’s first postgraduate certificate in innovation, entre-preneurship, and enterprise.
Prof Jarvis has called for a programme of entrepreneurship education to be put at the heart of any new national entrepreneurship policy.
She said Ireland runs the risk of continuing to invest scarce resources too late in the entrepreneurial journey and in the small number of people who are already active.
“The earlier and more widespread the exposure to entrepreneurship and innovation, the more likely it is that students will consider entrepreneurial careers at some point in the future,” she said.
“An action-oriented, practice-driven entrepreneurship education programme must sit at the heart of any new national entrepreneurship policy and must be made available to as wide a mix of participants as possible in order to derive maximum impact across all sectors of society and the economy.”
Prof Jarvis added that Ireland’s policymakers must move away from an outdated and narrow definition of equating entrepreneurship with start-up companies if the country is to develop a culture supportive of innovation and entrepreneurship.