A new centre has been set up at Cork Institute of Technology (CIT), with the aim of addressing gaps in current research on entrepreneurship in an Irish context and to inform national policy and strategy in the entrepreneurship area.
The Hincks Centre was launched yesterday to coincide with a showcase of 10 new ventures that have emerged from the first New Frontiers start-up incubation programme at the Rubicon Centre at CIT.
The centre will provide training for entrepreneurship support staff and entrepreneurs, as well as carrying out research on entrepreneurship activity in Ireland. The goal will be to inform national policy and education around entrepreneurship.
The first focus of the Hincks Centre will be a programme for teaching staff in financial institutions to better support entrepreneurs across both start-ups and existing SMEs.
The centre will also introduce a programme to train staff in business incubators and enterprise support agencies. A ‘Train the Trainer’ programme will target lecturers and teachers of entrepreneurship.
As well as this, the centre will be carrying out research into the reasons behind the failure of some start-ups.
Other initiatives at the Hincks Centre will be to look at the areas of intrapreneurship, spin-ins, social entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship at second level.
Speaking at the announcement about the Hincks Centre yesterday, Ireland’s Minister of State for Research and Innovation Seán Sherlock, TD, said nations such as Israel, the US, the UK and Nordic countries have used centres of entrepreneurship excellence as part of their entrepreneurial eco-system.
“I believe the Hincks Centre will play an important role in supporting entrepreneurship in Ireland,” he said.
Gerard O’Donovan, the head of CIT’s School of Business, said the centre would be a “significant support” to growing entrepreneurship to a new level in Ireland.
The centre itself is named after the Rev Thomas Dix Hincks, who founded the Royal Cork Institution in 1803.