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Inspiring Young Entrepreneurs in the Gaeltacht

Junior Achievement Ireland and Údarás na Gaeltachta to run a nationwide enterprise programme as Gaeilge

More than 750 Transition Year students from Gaeltacht regions in Cork, Galway, Donegal, Kerry, Mayo, Meath & Waterford will participate in the Údarás na Gaeltachta – Clár na gComhlachtaí this year.

ClarSamí Ó’Fearraigh & Caitlín James from Pobalscoil Ghaoth Dobhair with Minister Joe McHugh TDJoe McHugh TD, Minister of State at the Department of Culture with responsibility for Gaeilge, Gaeltacht and the Islands, launched the 2017/18 programme in Pobalscoil Ghaoth Dobhair this week and students from the school were on hand to showcase some of the innovative ideas that they have for their fledgling businesses!

Clár na gComhlachtaí is a hands-on business learning experience developed and delivered in partnership with Junior Achievement Ireland (JAI) and is taught through the Irish language to students attending schools in Gaeltacht regions. Based on the well-established JA Company Programme and Company of the Year Competition, students create, operate and manage their own business. The programme provides numerous opportunities for the development and reinforcement of important academic and leadership skills.

Minister McHugh commented, “I would like to congratulate Údarás na Gaeltachta and Junior Achievement Ireland for promoting a culture of entrepreneurship among young people in the Gaeltacht areas. The entrepreneurial skills and practical business experience developed through Clár na gComhlachtaí will stand these young people in good stead and ultimately benefit the economy of the Gaeltacht.

Local business volunteers, each of whom is recruited, trained and supported by JAI, mentor the students alongside their teachers as they move from the idea generation stage, to production, marketing, sales, finance right through to going to market.

In February 2018, students will be challenged to report on the progress they have made at Regional Finals. These events in each region will allow the emerging entrepreneurs to display their finished products at trade stands, and be interviewed by a judging panel before pitching their business ideas on stage to a public audience. The regional finals are an ideal opportunity for the students to showcase the knowledge gained and the skills acquired in the course of the programme.

Last year’s winners were Cothú Cinnte, a company from Coláiste Chroí Mhuire, An Spidéal, Co. Galway. Cothú Cinnte produced hand-painted, glazed dinner plates, that were labelled “as Gaeilge” to encourage young people to include more vegetables in their diet and to promote healthy eating.

Udaras 3Samí Ó’Fearraigh from Pobalscoil Ghaoth Dobhair discussing his business idea with Minister Joe McHugh TDBased on research on entrepreneurship education, students participating in Údarás Clár na gComhlachtaí are more likely to start their own business, are at lower risk of being unemployed, and are more often in steady employment into adulthood. These projected outcomes are based on the success schemes around Europe, which incorporate the JA Company Programme, on which the design of Clár na gComhlachtaí is based.

Mícheál Ó hÉanaigh, CEO of Údarás na Gaeltachta, commented that “Údarás na Gaeltachta is dedicated to promoting entrepreneurship in Gaeltacht areas and we would like to thank Junior Achievement Ireland for their commitment to this programme. We are confident that the skills and practical business experience Gaeltacht students will gain through their participation in Clár na gComhlachtaí is a significant building block which will lead to future Gaeltacht enterprises.

On behalf of JAI, Chief Executive Helen Raftery said: “The support from Údarás na Gaeltachta to run Clár na gComhlachtaí in schools across the Gaeltacht allows students to enjoy real-to-life learning opportunities they might not otherwise have benefited from. With the encouragement of their teachers and their business mentors, the students will gain confidence in many transversal skills such as team-working, negotiation and public speaking – skills which will be invaluable as they progress into the world of work.”


I mbliana glacfaidh os cionn 750 dalta idirbhliana ó Ghaeltachtaí Chorcaí, na Gaillimhe, Dhún na nGall, Chiarraí, Mhaigh Eo, na Mí agus Phort Láirge páirt i gClár na gComhlachtaí - Údarás na Gaeltachta.

Ba é an tAire Stáit don Ghaeilge, don Ghaeltacht agus do na hOileáin sa Roinn Cultúir Joe McHugh TD a sheol clár 2017/2018 i bPobalscoil Ghaoth Dobhair an tseachtain seo agus bhí daltaí ón scoil i láthair chun cuid de na smaointe nuálacha atá acu dá bhfiontair nuabhunaithe a chur ar taispeáint.

Is taithí phraiticiúil ghnó atá i gClár na gComhlachtaí atá á fhorbairt agus á sheachadadh i gcomhar le Junior Achievement Ireland (JAI) agus atá á mhúineadh trí mheán na Gaeilge do dhaltaí i gceantair Ghaeltachta.  Bunaithe ar na comórtais sheanbhunaithe JA Company Programme agus Comhlacht na Bliana, cruthaíonn, ritheann agus bainistíonn daltaí a ngnó féin.  Cuireann an clár neart deiseanna ar fáil maidir le forbairt agus neartaíonn sé an tábhacht a bhaineann le scileanna acadúla agus ceannaireachta. 

Dúirt an tAire McHugh, “Ba mhaith liom comhghairdeas a dhéanamh le hÚdarás na Gaeltachta agus Junior Achievement Ireland as cultúr na fiontraíochta i measc óige na Gaeltachta a chur chun cinn. Seasfaidh na scileanna fiontraíochta agus an taithí phraiticiúil gnó a fhorbraítear trí Chlár na gComhlachtaí leis na daoine óga seo agus rachaidh sé chun leasa gheilleagar na Gaeltachta ar deireadh.

Cuireann lucht gnó áitiúil, atá earcaithe agus traenáilte ag an JAI agus a fhaigheann tacaíocht uathu, meantóireacht dheonach ar fáil do na daltaí chomh maith leis na múinteoirí agus tugtar treoir do na daltaí ón mbunsmaoineamh go dtí an táirgeadh, an mhargaíocht, an díolachán agus cúrsaí airgeadais, chomh fada le dul chun margaidh.

Ag na Comórtais Réigiúnacha i mí Feabhra 2018, tabharfar dúshlán do na daltaí tuairisciú a dhéanamh ar an dul chun cinn atá déanta acu. Tugann na hócáidí réigiúnacha seo deis do na fiontraithe óga seo a dtáirgí críochnaithe a chur i láthair ag seastáin ghnó, dul faoi agallamh le painéal moltóirí agus a smaoineamh gnó a dhíol os comhair lucht féachana. Is deis iontach é seo do na daltaí an t-eolas agus na scileanna atá foghlamtha acu a thaispeáint.

Ba iad Cothú Cinnte, comhlacht as Coláiste Chroí Mhuire, An Spidéal, Co. na Gaillimhe buaiteoirí na bliana seo caite.  Cruthaigh Cothú Cinnte plátaí dinnéir péinteáilte de láimh le lipéid Ghaeilge chun bia sláintiúil a chur chun cinn agus daoine óga a mhealladh chun tuilleadh glasraí a ithe.

Bunaithe ar thaighde ar oideachas fiontraíochta, is mó seans atá daltaí a ghlacann páirt i gClár na gComhlachtaí – Údarás na Gaeltachta a ngnó féin a bhunú, bíonn riosca níos ísle go mbeidh siad dífhostaithe, agus níos minice bíonn fostaíocht seasta acu agus iad ag dul in aois. Tá na torthaí réamh-mheasta seo bunaithe ar rath na scéimeanna ar fud na hEorpa, a bhfuil JA Company Programme mar chuid de, agus ar a bhfuil Clár na gComhlachtaí bunaithe.

Dúirt Mícheál Ó hÉanaigh, Príomhfheidhmeannach Údarás na Gaeltachta “Tá Údarás na Gaeltachta tiomanta an fhiontraíocht a chur chun cinn i gceantair Ghaeltachta agus ba mhaith linn buíochas a ghlacadh le Junior Achievement Ireland as a ndúthracht don chlár.  Tá muid dóchasach go mbeidh na scileanna agus taithí phraiticiúil gnó a bhainfidh na daltaí Gaeltachta amach i rannpháirtíocht Chlár na gComhlachtaí ina gcrann taca maidir le fiontair Ghaeltachta amach anseo.”

Thar ceann an JAI dúirt an Príomhfheidhmeannach Helen Raftery, “Cuireann an tacaíocht a fhaighimid ó Údarás na Gaeltachta chun Clár na gComhlachtaí a reáchtáil i scoileanna ar fud na Gaeltachta deis iontach ar fáil do dhaltaí maidir le cúrsaí foghlama saoil rud nach mbeadh siad in ann leas a bhaint as de ghnáth. Le spreagadh ó na múinteoirí agus a meantóirí gnó, spreagfar muinín sna daltaí i mórán scileanna inaistrithe, idir obair foirne, scileanna idirbheartaíochta agus óráidíocht phoiblí – scileanna a bheidh an-tairbheach agus iad ag dul chun cinn i saol na hoibre.”

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