The creation of ‘eN – The Centre for Entrepreneurs’ will see CBS Sexton St in Limerick become home to Ireland’s first second level Centre for Entrepreneurs
The Minister for Education Richard Bruton has formally announced plans for the development of Ireland’s first Centre for Entrepreneurs to be located on the campus of an Irish second level school.
The pilot project, branded ‘eN – The Centre for Entrepreneurs’, will see the development of a start-up incubator and innovative learning centre delivering entrepreneurial studies for young adults co-located on the campus of the CBS Sexton St campus in the heart of Limerick city.
The Centre will become home to a co-working space and will also focus on promoting entrepreneurial spirit and providing facilities for the sharing of ideas, skills and resources between entrepreneurs and pupils and between student entrepreneurs themselves.
Led by former Secretary General at the Department of Finance John Moran, the project has been developed with the support of the Department of Education, the Edmund Rice Schools Trust, CBS Sexton Street, Limerick Institute of Technology, the Entrepreneurship Academy, Innovate Limerick and the pupils themselves.
Speaking at the launch Minister Bruton said: “Creating a stronger focus on Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Innovation in our schools is an important part of the Action Plan for Education, which aims to make the Irish education and training service the best in Europe within a decade. To sustain our economic recovery it is vital that we adapt our national skills base to meet the challenges of growth in the modern world. Our education and training systems needs to recognise this and nurture these talents.
“As Ireland’s first second level Centre for Entrepreneurs, the eN Centre at CBS Sexton St in Limerick, will be a hub for entrepreneurial learning in the Mid-West. As the project evolves the school can act as a model for boosting and nurturing entrepreneurship in both primary and post-primary education across Ireland, as well as providing a platform for alumni of those schools to start their own business.”
John Moran has announced he is committing over €100,000 to the start-up costs of eN in memory of his father, a local Limerick entrepreneur, who passed away last year. RHH International, the company John Moran has founded, is also providing strategic and technical assistance for the establishment of eN.
John Moran said: “I am delighted that my own alma mater had the vision and ambition to want to conceive this centre, a unique Irish project which we envisage will radically change the landscape of primary and secondary education. By connecting formal education with new approaches to learning, we want to transform how children and young adults look at entrepreneurship as a career option”.
“Ireland needs more start-ups. It is now time to teach Ireland’s future generations that instead of just looking for their dream job they should look for their dream clients and learn how to take control of their own destiny by creating a business for themselves and others”, John Moran added.
Gerry Bennett, Chief Executive of Edmund Rice Schools Trust, said: “We are delighted that CBS Sexton Street, as one of Limerick’s best known and most historic schools, is the location for the pilot of eN The Centre for Entrepreneurship.”
“We have huge ambition for all of our schools and our pupils. The vision, aim and imagination of this project can help build upon this by further inspiring our students and many others to reach their potential with its dynamic and exciting spirt of entrepreneurial ambition and creativity”, he added.
Limerick City and County Council Chief Executive Conn Murray today welcomed the announcement saying: “What makes the eN project stand out is its location on the grounds of a secondary school in the centre of Limerick city. Students from diverse backgrounds and different schools in the Limerick area will now be in a position to mix and work with each other and new entrepreneur role models”.
“This project continues the tradition of innovative approaches to learning led by schools in the region as we invest in developing the talent of the future”, Mr Murray continued.
Coláiste Mhichíl has a long and proud tradition of providing great businessmen and men with entrepreneurial vision in Limerick city and further afield, since Brothers Dunphy, Kelly and Grace came to Limerick in 1816.
The city centre campus is in need of repositioning after 200 years based on the current site. Once located in a strong catchment area the school has experienced significant decline of student numbers in recent years with the decline of Limerick city centre.
The existing plans for Limerick’s renewal conceived on urban spaces and a focus on SME’s are a perfect launchpad for this pilot. The project will play a key role in redefining the role the school should play in educating Limerick’s youth.
The school has a tradition in developing innovative thought leaders, with no better example than John Philip Holland, a student in Sexton Street in the 1850s, who invented the world’s first working submarine in 1866.
The Centre will occupy and revitalise a currently disused 19th century school building currently in a serious state of repair and dating from 1828.