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Dáil Éireann debate -
Tuesday, 4 Mar 2003

Vol. 562 No. 4

Written Answers - Enterprise Awards.

Charlie O'Connor


181 Mr. O'Connor asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if her attention has been drawn to the success of the South Dublin County Student Enterprise Awards which in 2003 attracted entries from schools throughout the South Dublin County Council's administrative area; her views on the advantage of encouraging such enterprise; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6085/03]

The promotion and development of a strong enterprise culture in Ireland is essential if we are to maintain long-term growth and employment creation. The educational system has an important role to play in encouraging greater entrepreneurship in Ireland and there are a growing number of initiatives aimed at highlighting and promoting self-employment to young people as a career option. These initiatives also aim to foster entrepreneurial traits with a view to changing the prevailing climate that is seen to focus primarily on academic excellence.

It is primarily during the years of second level education that the attitudes, interests and creativity of our young people are developed. This is the time to encourage diversity, innovation and free thinking. It is important that our students and graduates see themselves not only as prospective employees but also as potential employment creators. It is hoped that the exposure of young adults to the world of entrepreneurship and enterprise will encourage a positive attitude towards enterprise, self-employment and innovation among students and open their minds to the wide range of opportunities available to them.

The South Dublin Enterprise Board is one of 35 city and county enterprise boards, which provide an excellent service throughout the country in promoting and developing an enterprise culture. The enterprise boards have considerable involvement with second level schools through the support of a number of initiatives, tailored to their particular areas, which are designed to give students practical experience in the world of enterprise. The boards offer invaluable expertise in enterprise development to schools involved in these initiatives.