Let’s do Entrepreneurship (part 2): Northern Ireland

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Let’s do Entrepreneurship

The six Northern Ireland Colleges are working on a number of individual programmes and projects  focusing on Entrepreneurship and developing ‘enterprising’ skills.  Some of these include;

Belfast Met

In March 2019 & March 2020, the Erasmus+  2-week Ice with GRIT programme took 80 students from Belfast Business School to the Netherlands. This project contributed significantly to student acquisition of employability and wide transferable skills, On a broader basis this project has established Enterprise generally and social enterprise specifically as an embedded curriculum area for the L3 Extended Diploma in Business.  Enterprise was further integrated into the curriculum through the L3 OCN Award in Employability and Professional development.  OCN units undertaken were Improving Presentation Skills plus either Work Experience Placement or Innovation and Enterprise unit and used the practical experience and knowledge gained to meet the assessment requirements. 

Northern Regional College (NRC)

D4 Entrepreneurship (Dream:Dare:Design:Do) is a partnership led by NRC with colleges from the Network of Networks in Finland, the Netherlands, Spain and also from Slovenia and a Business Incubation Centre in Ballymena, Co. Antrim.  VET partners will act as a host for 90 wider entrepreneurship ecosystem organisations/enterprises to participate.  42 VET staff and 540 students from the partners’ countries will form six D4 Entrepreneurship Clubs and participate in Design Thinking projects aimed at developing new, innovative, creative, entrepreneurial education. Intellectual outcomes will include two D4 Entrepreneurship toolkits, one aimed at

implementing Design Thinking methodologies with VET students and the other aimed at wider staff development.   

North West Regional College (NWRC)

NWRC’s Project Based Learning in partnership with Enterprise North West, and in conjunction with Derry City & Strabane District Council, have announced a new 8 week ‘Pathway To Entrepreneurship Programme’.  The programme will introduce up to 50 students to the world of enterprise and starting a business in an area of interest. The programme will be delivered by specialist business advisors to support students feel confident in their own ability, equipped with their newly acquired skills and have the capacity to envisage starting their own business as an alternative pathway to employment through skill development, cultural experience and professional support.  On completion, participants will have access to bespoke 1-to-1 mentoring & next steps planning from an experienced business advisor. 

South Eastern Regional College (SERC)

The SERC Enterprise and Entrepreneurship (EE) Team help promote entrepreneurial thinking and the development of all their learners through a College wide 2-week enterprise induction where students are placed into groups using the college’s bespoke ‘Ingenio App’ to determine their preferred learning style.  Students are then tasked to solve real world challenges. The student’s solution focused approach allows them to develop new products and services while acquiring a range of transversal skills in line with industry needs.  This added work readiness gives students the edge by preparing them for the future workplace, allowing them to apply their vocational knowledge in an enterprise context.

Southern Regional College

BRIDGES Project (Building Resources In Digitalisation to Gain Employment Skills) is an Erasmus+ Key Action 2 project led by SRC and includes partners from the Network of Network as well as Ireland, Spain and Latvia.  The project aims to provide resources for older learners including those from migrant, asylum seeker and refugee communities to enable them to become more

connected and less isolated.  One of the intellectual outputs of the projects is the development of an employability and work ready course to include a unit on Enterprise & Entrepreneurship.  It will extend and develop the competencies of adult tutors through new teaching and training in digital methods.

South West College

South West’s ‘Digitize enterprise’ Erasmus+ Key Action 2 project brings together European partners from UK, Ireland, Spain, Greece and Cyprus.  The project works to provide similar learning experiences for potential young entrepreneurs by providing a range of interactive content which is formatted to be engaging, challenging and thought-provoking. The hope is that it will encourage a new wave of innovative entrepreneurs to take the plunge into running their own business.  The project similarly aims to provide an outlet for creative young people who have a mind to become an entrepreneur, by providing a means in which they can learn more about crucial areas of enterprise in easy-to-understand terms. 

For more information on any of the programmes or projects please contact international@nwrc.ac.uk

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