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Taoiseach meets with Young Entrepreneurs

This morning in Dublin Castle Taoiseach Enda Kenny officially launched a Forum to develop

A National Youth Entrepreneurship Strategy

.  This Forum, organised by DCU’s Ryan Academy, includes leading Irish and International entrepreneurs, representatives from Government Departments and the European Commission.

Proceedings consist of presentations of best-practice at local, national and international level.  These presentations examine issues such as new approaches to teaching and reducing unnecessary bureaucracy in business.  In his opening address the Taoiseach noted the Forum’s Chair, Chris Horn of Iona Technologies, as

...a role model for the kind of entrepreneurial spirit we are looking to engender in our young people.  He is also someone who constantly gives back to the country – through his continued engagement in public life and in shaping public policy.

Having met with a number of young entrepreneurs exhibiting their ideas and products at the event the Taoiseach spoke of the need to,

...welcome all ideas to promote a spirit of enterprise and innovation amongst young people.  The business leaders and entrepreneurs of tomorrow are the young pupils in our classrooms today. They will all shape our future so we must do our best to shape their education today.

Ireland has experienced a decline in educational outcomes in recent years. We will draw from top performing education models like Finland to reverse this trend. Even in our country’s crisis, we can make progress in education and protect frontline services.

In terms of supporting creativity in early stage education he referred to the Junior Inventor and Discover Science Excellence initiatives, and Young Enterprise competitions such as the Mini Company “Get Up And Go” programme and the new Sean Lemass Commemorative Award.

Concluding the Taoiseach quoted the lines of Roy L. Sharpe as encapsulating the challenges to be addressed,

Each is given a bag of tools, / A shapeless mass, / A book of rules, / And each must make – / Ere life has flown – / A stumbling block / Or a stepping stone.

The full text of the Taoiseach's speech is available here.