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A Broad Definition of Entrepreneurship

The Ryan Academy has a very broad definition of Entrepreneurship. Let me give you an example.

Currently the Academy is buzzing with the development of our Business Innovation Programme, which is a Labour Market Activation Funded programme aimed at two segments: those who are professionals who have fallen foul to the downturn (architects, engineering, legal and financial people for example) and who don’t want to start from scratch with education. They have an in-built set of skills already and we can build on them through a mixture of accredited (Level 8 Award in Innovation from DCU) new product development and related subjects as well as non-accredited (modules on specific subjects from country market information to personal ‘soft’ skills).

The second part of the equation is the Irish SME sector which would love to do more new product development and innovation but often don’t have the skills or money to do it. So by developing a specific seven month programme with intense teaching and a placement in these companies, we can do our bit for economic development and solving the issues the recession has thrust upon us.

So, some might ask, what has this to do with entrepreneurship? Well, the issue is that many people think ‘entrepreneurship’ is the task of writing a three-year plan for a new company. And it is. But that is not the end of the tale. When you think of great entrepreneurs, the usual names come to mind: Jobs, Gates, Carnegie, Branson et al. But they didn’t stop becoming entrepreneurs at year 2, 3 or even 10. Great companies continue to be entrepreneurial, through creativity, innovation, new product or service creation. And they are clever enough to surround themselves by specific talents. In Jobs case it is Jonathan Ives and his talented team of industrial designers, who have made most of Apple’s iconic products.

And so it is with the Ryan Academy, we define entrepreneurship in the widest context. And yes it does include innovation, new product development and creativity. And social entrepreneurship and social enterprise. And new economy companies and old economy companies. And yes, we do take Ireland Inc and its economic development very seriously. The new DCU President talks about DCU being the ‘University of Industry’ and we have a strategic role to play in that.

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