Gaeltacht students becoming business moguls

Galway Daily news Gaeltacht students taking part in entrepreneurship competition
Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

More than 750 Transition Year students from the Gaeltacht are taking part in a national programme to encourage budding entrepreneurs to start their own businesses.

Údarás na Gaeltachta’s Clár na gComhlachtaí encourages students in the Gaeltacht areas of Galway, Cork, Donegal, Mayo, Meath, Kerry and Waterford to start their own mini enterprises and take part in a national competition.

Clár na gComhlachtaí is a hands-on business learning experience developed and delivered in partnership with Junior Achievement Ireland and taught through Irish.

The programme gives young people from the gaeltacht a chance to develop their academic, business, and leadership skills.

Local businesses volunteer their time together with development executives from Údarás na Gaeltachta to mentor the students alongside teachers as they take a concept from being an idea through developing, marketing, and selling it.

Galway West TD and Minister of State for the Gaeltacht Seán Kyne launched the 2018/19 programme in Coláiste na Coiribe, Galway recently.

Students from the Knocknacarra gaelscoil were there to give a preview of some of the ideas they’ve been working on so far this year.

Minister Kyne said the skills they learn doing this, “Will no doubt be of long-term benefit to the Gaeltacht as these young people move on and become the heart of the Gaeltacht economy.”

“Údarás na Gaeltachta and Junior Achievement Ireland are to be congratulated for continually increasing participation in the programme in all Gaeltacht areas.”

Students will take part in the Regional Finals next March where they will showcase their finished products at trade stands and be interviewed by a judging panel.

After that they’ll make their business pitch pitch to the public on stage in a great opportunity to demonstrate the skills they’ve picked up over the year.

The students who are successful will go on to the National Finals in April 2019.

Mícheál Ó hÉanaigh, CEO of Údarás na Gaeltachta said “The Clár na gComhlachtaí programme is an ideal opportunity to instil a sense of entrepreneurship in our younger generations which will lead to an even brighter future for Gaeltacht areas.”

JAI, Chief Executive Helen Raftery said “Entrepreneurship education programmes led by role models from outside the school community complement the work of our teachers.

“Thanks to Údarás na Gaeltachta, Clár na gComhlachtaí students in Gaeltacht areas throughout the country will benefit greatly from this real to life entrepreneurial experience.”