Youth Entrepreneurship Fund & Associated Projects
Empowering Young People in 4 steps
1. The Youth Entrepreneurship Fund Initiative The Youth Entrepreneurship Fund (YEF) started as a lobbying initiative to secure funding for young entrepreneurs and ultimately fight youth unemployment in Ireland. It has been immensely successful with the Labour Party and Fine Gael unanimously backing the proposal. It outlines a € 1 million fund on a 2-year trial basis with our proposal reaching the European Commission in Brussels who are considering the project on a European scale. We have had extensive media coverage and have developed several other projects to tie in with the overall goal of the YEF: decreasing youth unemployment.
2. IT Course in Secondary schools Our IT Course started in Marian College teaching young secondary school students basic web programming to improve their job prospects and excite them for third level education and a career in innovative web industries. We partnered with Fadoo Technologies Ltd who have helped us design a curriculum for an 8-week course at extremely low cost (€50 per person for 16 hours) and some extra places for students who cannot afford the registration fee. As the Irish IT industries feature the highest demand levels for specialised employees we are trying to improve the employability of young people, while simultaneously promoting future entrepreneurship in these sectors.
3. Business Plan Competition in Secondary Schools (in Progress) Over the last few months we have built up a network of schools interested in a business plan competition organised by Enactus UCD. St Joseph’s CBS and St David’s CBS are already on board and more are bound to follow soon. This initiative is targeted towards transition year students and aims at getting them interested in entrepreneurship as a future career path. The material we designed will help students develop their ideas and conduct basic feasibility studies to learn how to spot the right opportunity.
4. Innovation Cafe & Brain Bunker The Innovation Cafe brings students from all disciplines together to share their ideas and offer each other support. The project is based on the premise that by working together, students can increase their chances of achieving entrepreneurial success. Over 25 students attended the first 6-hour workshop, discussing a wide variety of online and offline business and charity ideas. 4 professional contributors from different industries offered guidance and mentoring support to 7 self-formed project groups. We are currently in talks with the university and students’ union about opening a full time premise on the Belfield campus called the “Brain Bunker”. This innovation hub will facilitate the exchange of ideas and promote entrepreneurial activities across the university. The “Right Brain” - the creative center - is planned as a lounge cafe, while the “Left Brain” - the planning center - will feature project rooms and group offices. The sketch to the right is an illustration of the old (and currently empty) student bar building in UCD, which we are trying to reopen as the Brain Bunker. We envision this entrepreneurship hub as a pilot program for a nation wide model promoting business innovation across Irish universities, as an incubator for the YEF.
Introduction to Enactus UCD projects from 10/2012 - 05/2013