DCU Ryan Academy Launches Mentorship Initiative

Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation, Séan Sherlock was in DCU recently to launch the Menter Iontach Nua, an Irish-Welsh entrepreneurship initiative for members of the Ryan Academy.

The main aim of the initiative is the delivery of a Masters Degree in Management of Innovation in Social Enterprise. It also aims to provide network training and mentor supports for social entrepreneurs, community development organisations and companies with a Corporate Social Responsibility remit.

The programme wants to ensure graduates can work in the social enterprise sector or to ensure they can apply sustainable social enterprise strategies into their organisation. Other partners for the project are Bangor University, NorDubCo and Business in the Community Wales.

Topics covered in the programme are Innovation and Creativity, and Social Enterprise Development. It proclaims to be suited for “those who aspire to be leaders in social enterprise, who want to improve creativity and innovation”.

Requirements for the programme are that participants have a primary degree or five years relevant experience. It will be a three-year, part time course.

Minister Sherlock said: “A sustainable business model is key to the survival and development of social enterprises. The launch of the Menter Iontach Nua initiative…will be of great assistance in helping to deliver on this objective.”

Another speaker at the launch was Mark Richardson, Welsh social entrepreneur, Director of Social Enterprise at Bangor University and Fellow of the Clore Social Leadership. He said a Masters in social enterprise is needed because most “social entrepreneurs don’t have any formal training in developing a business; they learn through their mistakes, which can be time-consuming, expensive and sometimes traumatic.”

“The knowledge and tools these social entrepreneurs will learn through this Masters programme will help to ensure they can maximise their organisation’s social impact…our vision for Menter Iontach Nua is to transform the social enterprise sector…Menter Iontach Nua will help them [social entrepreneurs] grow.”
The programme was developed as part of the Menter Iontach Nua ‘Innovation and Creativity in Social Enterprise’ Initiative and is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Ireland Wales Programme 2007-2013.

Aisling Kett is our Deputy News Editor

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