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Business planning through education



Starting up a business is daunting at any time, but more so when you don’t have a background in running or operating a business.

Many intending and actual entrepreneurs rely on the experience provided by trial and error as well as the knowledge imparted in books and websites to help them along the way.
There is another option: formal education on the topic of starting your own business. However, just because ‘a relevant qualification’ is not a formal requirement in becoming an entrepreneur or business owner doesn’t mean you should ignore it.

Education in entrepreneurship is recommended: According to the GEM report on Entrepreneurship in Ireland 2008: “participation in education or training in relation to entrepreneurship has positive effects on an individual’s preparedness and their likelihood of be coming an entrepreneur.”

So what are the options?

  • First off visit your local county enterprise board’s website to see when their next ‘Start Your Own Business’ course.
  • Also consider local third level institutions and VECs.
  • There are also independent courses run by reliable experts.
  • Higher up the educational ladder are a range of 12-month Enterprise Platform Programmes run in institutes of technology around Ireland.

These include:

South East Enterprise Platform Programme in Waterford Institute of Technology
Novation Enterprise Platform Programme in Dundalk Institute of Technology
Create Ireland, IADT Dun Laoghaire
IT Carlow’s Enterprise Platform Programme

M50 Enterprise Platform Programme in Dublin in participation with Institute of Technology Tallaght and Institute of Technology Blanchardstown, University College Dublin and Dublin City University.
Limerick Enterprise Acceleration Platform at Limerick Institute of Technology
Genesis Enterprise Programme at Cork Institute of Technology
Hothouse in Dublin Institute of Technology
Midlands & West Enterprise Programme in Athlone Institute of Technology
Young Entrepreneur Programme, Tralee Institute of Technology

Enterprise Ireland has an overview of these that can be seen here.
Having completed the SEEPP course in WIT last year, I can attest to the usefulness of such a course in getting one on the right road to market research, developing a business plan and bouncing ideas off classmates who have all signed up to a confidentiality agreement.

Still not convinced? Research has been completed by WIT on the matter. According to: ‘Enterprise education does make a difference’: entrepreneurs with enterprise education experience far fewer business issues than their counterparts who have not received enterprise education.

What are your thoughts?



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The Author:

Elaine Larkin runs Elaine Larkin Media, a web content writing consultancy established in 2009. Elaine draws on her vast experience as a journalist and editor to write compelling search engine optimised content for businesses’ websites. Having written on a diverse range of topics from technology to travel and from finance to sport in both the national media and corporate communications, she is well equipped to write about any business area. Elaine holds a degree in Communications and a post graduate diploma in business in Enterprise Development. http://www.elainelarkinmedia.com

Add Your Comment

  • http://www.codegaconsulting.com/ Una

    Richie, thanks for this. How about something for the sole-trader, small SME – some simple processess to ensure we do the basics like back-up.

    Una Coleman
    t: unacoleman
    http://www.codegaconsulting.com

  • Anonymous

    Una, thanks for the comment and suggestion. I will write up some pointers later this week. Richie

  • Anonymous

    Great article Elaine. I have recently completed an MBS in International Entrepreneurship Management in the University of Limerick and I believe it is without question that education in entrepreneurship increases the likelihood of an individual becoming an entrepreneur. Whether entrepreneurs are born or made is an age old debate, the consensus of many hundreds of studies on psychologocial and sociological makeup of entrepreneurs is that entrepreneurs are not genetically different from other people. Whether someone does or does’nt become an entrepreneur is affected by environment, life experience and personal choices. Thus by making a choice to gain an education in entrepreneurship, it helps to increase the chances of your business being successful.

    MBS International Entrepreneurship Management U.L: http://www2.ul.ie/web/WWW/Services/Research/Graduate_School/Prospective_Students/Graduate_Programmes/Taught_Programmes/Kemmy_Business_School/International_Entrepreneurship_Management

  • Ted

    I just finished a Master’s programme at the University of Limerick in International Entrepreneurship Management and found the overall course to be outstanding. I agree with my classmate Michael.

  • http://blog.myprojecttracker.com Barney Austen

    Hi Elaine. Could not agree more. When I started first, I assumed practical experience from past lives coupled with a bit of reading would see me through the early days. Not a hope :) Thankfully the Wicklow CEB made me see sense and encouraged active course participation and I’ve done nothing but learn since. The nice think about the CEB courses is that they are not too intensive i.e. they do not detract from your working day/building the business, but they do provide valuable insights. Good post – thanks

  • http://www.insideview.ie topgold

    While I don’t deny the value of a quality education, I’m unconvinced of the need to require all Enterprise Platform applications to attend training before funding is released to them.

  • Anonymous

    Great post… Here’s a link to an excellent email marketing resource site – this section is specifically about legislation around the world http://www.email-marketing-reports.com/canspam/

  • Anonymous

    Hi UnaWith regards to following simple processes for basics like back up I would suggest given most small SME and sole traders have little or no IT experience ( nor do they want any ) so when it comes to backing up Laptops PC’s and Small servers the simplest and most effective solution for these guys is online. This means it is secure and does not require any IT knowledge nor do you need to remember to back up it does it automaticaly.I wrote an article on this in last sundays business post and it should be up on their web site by the end of the week under risk. However in the meantime take a look at our web site http://www.continuumltd.com and go to the products section. Any questions please dont hesitate to contact us