Home > Business Innovation Programme > Why the Ryan Academy for Entrepreneurship Does Innovation

Why the Ryan Academy for Entrepreneurship Does Innovation

Sometimes, particularly recently in light of the Business Innovation Programme which the Academy has developed for unemployed professionals, people as the question why an Academy for Entrepreneurship is getting involved in innovation? The answer is simple: too many people, and way too many educational programmes, are concentrating on the wrong definition of entrepreneurship. If you do an entrepreneurship module in a university it is probably a lot of theory about entrepreneurship coupled with a ‘do a three-year business plan for a new idea.’ I should know, I did this module twice during my own foray through higher education, first in Dundalk Institute of Technology and then in NUI Galway. Almost identical modules.

But we have always taken a much wider definition here in the Ryan Academy – we do ICE or Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship. And by entrepreneurship we can also mean intrapreneurship or venturing in larger organisations. As well as the two entrepreneurs hard at work in their garage startup or in the lab. The recent World Economic Forum report ” Educating the Next Wave of Entrepreneurs: Unlocking entrepreneurial capabilities to meet the global challenges of the 21st century” made a similar point:

“In this report….we use a broad definition of entrepreneurship to include the pursuit of opportunities, whether they involve start-ups, spin-outs, entrepreneurial activities in larger organizations (private or public), or social ventures.”

When it comes to teaching the traits needed for our so-called Knowledge society, we need to embed these elements within our entire education system. The ability to continually innovate is a key element of the true entrepreneur, and both Irish companies and the foreign direct investment corporates who provide so much employment in Ireland will need enquiring minds who can provide solutions, create new products, services and problem-solve in teams. How much of this are we really teaching now?

As the innovation guru Peter Drucker is quoted in the report:

“ What we need is an entrepreneurial society in which innovation and entrepreneurship are normal, steady and continual.”

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