Encouraging and promoting an enterprise culture is an important area of activity for Local Enterprise Offices. In seeking to develop a thriving enterprise culture, it is critical that young people from all backgrounds see enterprise as a viable career choice. Entrepreneurial qualities and mindset need to be fostered from an early stage. If we are serious about developing an entrepreneurial ethos we must start with our school-children and young people. We must listen to their ideas and actively support their innovations, as these can be the secret to the business successes of tomorrow. Our young people need to be open to the idea of creating a new job rather than looking for one. For all of these reasons the Local Enterprise Offices have strategically focused much of their endeavours in the field of entrepreneurship development on the education sector. Through various programmes and initiatives they have sought to influence student attitudes in favour of enterprise. It is to be hoped that the proportion of young people who are prepared to “have a go” at founding their own business can be increased.
The LEOs continue to reinforce entrepreneurship in the education system as a critical element in the future development of small business in Ireland. A number of initiatives are run by the LEOs at both primary and secondary level with the flagship programme the Student Enterprise Programme.