Entrepreneurship Forum recommends mandatory business training for STEM students

23 Jan 2014

Since it is expected that start-ups will create two-thirds of jobs across the Irish economy, the Entrepreneurship Forum has recommended that all third-level STEM students receive mandatory training in commercialising business ideas.

As well as this, the forum, headed up by entrepreneur and investor Sean O’Sullivan, has recommended the use of unoccupied and NAMA buildings, up to a total of 50,00 sq ft of co-working space.

The Entrepreneurship Forum Report also recommends changes in Irish laws to support employee stock option programmes to give workers a better incentive to drive the business further.

The report also calls for a flat tax of 15-20pc on all types of income.

The report also recommends the creation of a national education strategy for entrepreneurship at all levels of the education system.

Making Ireland the most competitive country in Europe

“We believe that Ireland has the opportunity to become the most competitive country in Europe if it adopts – and embraces – some key structural changes,” O’Sullivan said.

“The forum’s recommendations in immigration, finance, and public policy reform are ambitious but concrete, and we call on Government to make tough political decisions.

“But more importantly, the foundation of a strong start-up community is a culture of citizenship, where individuals embrace success, give back, and take responsibility to build a better society. This report is a call to action.”

O’Sullivan said a major theme of the report was the need for entrepreneurs across Ireland to engage more with fellow entrepreneurs and look more towards their own peers and less to Government supports to achieve their goals.

He said volunteerism and organising networking events and peer networking are essential.

One group that has already got the ball rolling on this is Startup Ireland, which will focus on better connecting Ireland’s start-up community and will begin by creating on the ground Start-up Champions in various communities.

Richard Bruton, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, formed the Entrepreneurship Forum as part of his Action Plan for Jobs.

“What they are telling us is that Government cannot create entrepreneurs and start-ups, but what we can do is remove barriers and support an environment where more businesses can start,” Bruton said.

“What we are publishing today is an excellent evidence-based document with 69 concrete recommendations for what Government can do to achieve this. Implementing all recommendations may not be possible – but if the past decade has shown us anything it is that advice from experts should be listened to and debated.”

Business innovation image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years