Minister English Launches New Innovation & Entrepreneurial Skills Pilot Programme to Equip Nation with ‘New Economy’ Life Skills

Damien English, TD, Minister of State for Skills, Research & Innovation attends the first pilot of the Innovation & Entrepreneurial Skills Passport at CIT.

Thursday, 9th July 2015: The first Innovation & Entrepreneurial Skills passport programme was launched today as a pilot programme at Cork Institute of Technology by Startup Ireland, a national not-for-profit organisation dedicated to championing the growth of the startup sector throughout Ireland.The Innovation & Entrepreneurial Skills Passport is an entry level, competence based, introduction to the development of key entrepreneurial life skills, essential to the ‘new economy’ in the area of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Developed by Startup Ireland, it has been designed to boost these skills across all areas of the economy and society, a need highlighted in the 2013 Entrepreneurship Forum Report. The Passport includes modules on Getting Started, Creativity with Design Thinking, Finance, Self-awareness and Opportunity Recognition.

Speaking at the inaugural Innovation & Entrepreneurial Skills Passport programme today, Minister of State for Skills, Research & Innovation, Damien English T.D. said “The Innovation and Entrepreneurial Skills Passport is an exciting initiative that will help people think of entrepreneurship as an immediate career choice, rather than something that they may consider further down the line. It will help boost entrepreneurship across all areas of the economy and society and help create the entrepreneurial talent pipeline across Ireland.  The passport will enable early talent spotting and will give the foundation needed for those with new and innovative ideas to create a startup business”

“The ability to be more entrepreneurial and innovative in a rapidly changing environment is an essential life skill. Having the right skills set and a good grounding on the practicalities of starting and scaling a business, greatly increases the success rates. We are focused on helping to make Ireland one of the best countries to start, scale and succeed from and the Innovation & Entrepreneurial Skills passport will play an important role in achieving this ambition.” said Eoin Costello, CEO of Startup Ireland.

Speaking at the event, Dr Breda Kenny, Head of CIT’s Hincks Centre for Entrepreneurship Excellence said “In CIT we have a proven track record in supporting start-ups and entrepreneurial activity, so we are delighted to be part of this national event.  We very much welcome the opportunity to engage further in entrepreneurship education and training initiatives to support current and future entrepreneurs.”
Commenting on today’s event in Cork, Siobhán Finn Project Director with Cork innovates thanked all those involved saying that “tremendous work is being done by Startup Ireland across the country and such collaborative projects as this current Passport is a demonstration of what can be achieved by many groups working together on a common goal; in this case elevating Ireland to the position of leading global startup hub by 2020’.

Launched as a pilot programme today, the Innovation & Entrepreneurial Skills Passport will be rolled out across Ireland during the week of the Startup Gathering.

Set to be one of the biggest national startup events in the world, Startup Gathering 2015 will take place across Ireland from the 5th to 10th October, with over 50 events being planned across 5 days, 5 industries and 5 cities, Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford, with the aim of promoting entrepreneurship and helping to develop world class regional startup hubs around the existing industry strengths in each region to accelerate the growth of startups and scaleups in Ireland.

A major initiative of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs 2015, and a key building block towards making Ireland a global startup hub by 2020, Startup Gathering 2015 is being led by Startup Ireland with the support of supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and Bank of Ireland, a key strategic partner.
www.startupireland.ie 

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