As part of National Enterprise Week Invest Northern Ireland hosted a day dedicated to encouraging young people to become more entrepreneurial at the King’s Hall, Belfast.
The event, organised in partnership with Invest NI’s youth enterprise partners, the Association of NI Colleges (ANIC), Shell LiveWire, Young Enterprise NI, the Prince’sTrust, Sentinus and Globalclub, provided the opportunity for over 500 young people from the post primary, further and higher education sectors across Northern Ireland to take part in a series of interactive tasks and masterclasses.
One of the masterclasses was delivered by the directors of Omlet, four twentysomethings based in Oxfordshire who design and manufacture the ‘eglu’ - an innovatively designed henhouse that is achieving a cult following amongst their customers.
ANIC also hosted an entrepreneur’s forum at the event to discuss entrepreneurship and what it means to young people today. An open mike event, the forum allowed all of the young people attending to share their experiences and perceptions of what being entrepreneurial means to them.
Invest NI’s Chief Executive, Leslie Morrison, said: “Young people are naturally creative and energetic, two of the characteristics of entrepreneurs. If we can harness that creativity and ensure that young people are equipped with the right skills and encouraged to step up to the challenge of business, we will create a new generation of successful entrepreneurs.”
John D’Arcy, Chief Executive of ANIC which represents the 16 further education colleges in Northern Ireland, said: “We recognise the need to embed a culture and appreciation of entrepreneurship in our education system, and provide our young people with the skills to contribute to the growth of the economy.
“Recent research by BDO Stoy Hayward to assess how the further education sector can support the Accelerating Entrepreneurship Strategy, concluded that the sector has the potential to significantly contribute to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship and that more should be done to strengthen the links between education and industry.”
Enterprise Week culminates in the Enterprise Show on the 19 and 20 November at the King’s Hall, Belfast which will provide advice and support to those thinking of, or currently developing a business.