A survey of 330 national schools has revealed that 87pc of its teachers saw an increase in confidence in children participating in the Junior Entrepreneurship Programme (JEP), with a further 66pc stating that taking part in the programme improved communication skills and the ability to work as a team.
Life skills such as decision making, presentation skills and teamwork were identified as key benefits to primary school children going through the JEP.
Led by serial entrepreneur Jerry Kennelly, the JEP was rolled out to more than 10,000 primary school children in Ireland and Northern Ireland last year, and this year the numbers signing up for JEP are expected to increase significantly.
“This latest research shows how much children can benefit from JEP. Introducing children to entrepreneurship and creating a ‘can do’ culture from an early age not only helps with self esteem and personal development, but it also enables students to better understand subject choices and make career decisions at secondary school level,” said Kennelly.
“JEP provides a real opportunity for children – there is no cost to schools nor parents, and the benefits are enormous. Developing a real understanding and love for turning business ideas and concepts into reality will not only provide children with opportunities in the future, but will also support job creation and economic development in Ireland.
In terms of the businesses created by primary school pupils across Ireland, 48pc were in the arts, crafts and design area, with 23pc in the food and beverage sector and 12pc in print and publishing.
The programme is supported by many of Ireland’s best-known entrepreneurs, including Anne Heraty (CPL), John Tuohy (Parcel Motel), Martin Hamilton (MashDirect) and David Walsh (Netwatch).