Let’s do Entrepreneurship (part 1): Northern Ireland

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Let’s do Entrepreneurship (Part I)

Each of Northern Ireland’s six FE Colleges has been designated a ‘lead college’ in economically important sectoral areas, linked to the Skills Barometer.  The role of the ‘lead college’ is to link with the other colleges in order to develop teaching and curriculum excellence, improve sectoral knowledge and increase employer engagement in order to provide consistent, high quality provision for learners and employers across NI.​

Entrepreneurship has been named as one of the hubs, led by Northern Regional College (NRC).  The key outworking of the college Entrepreneurship Hub is its contribution to driving cultural change, strengthening the innovation entrepreneurship ecosystem, and ensuring learners have the necessary skills pipeline to meet business needs now and in the future. The ongoing work in the Entrepreneurship Hub is to recognise that within curriculum and part of the wider student experience students develop ‘enterprising’ skills (communication, teambuilding, problem solving, critical thinking, presentation etc) through such things as curriculum projects, volunteering and fundraising.  

As the FE Sector Entrepreneurship Hub lead, NRC has developed a 3 year Entrepreneurship Hub Action Plan:

  • To provide curriculum advice and development in entrepreneurship;
  • To identify and develop continuing professional development in the field of entrepreneurship;
  • To increase entrepreneurial economic engagement;
  • To communicate the activities of the entrepreneurship hub; and
  • To provide stakeholders with future entrepreneurship scoping analysis.

Choice of language is important and the Entrepreneurship Hub recognises that there is a lot of confusion in the sector between enterprise and entrepreneurship, and for that matter employability and in this context the has developed a FE sector wide CPD programme to start to tackle some of these issues.   

The Hub is in the process of arranging Project Based Learning competitions across all 6 colleges which will take place in April in each college, then a sector final will take place in May for the winners from phase 1. These competitions will see students enter a project under a preselected category. There will be internal and external judges, and prizes for first, second and third place. The event will take place online but if access is allowed back into colleges then a physical competition will hopefully happen. This event is an attempt to bring all the colleges together to showcase the best of their talent with regard to Project Based Learning and entrepreneurial activities.

For more information on the Entrepreneurship Hub please contact Magdalena Wolska,  Magdalena.wolska@nrc.ac.uk

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