Opinion Columnists

Thursday 24 May 2018

Business booms for child entrepreneurs

Primary school pupils are learning valuable lessons about careers and business, writes Jerry Kennelly

'This year alone, children in every one of the 32 counties have taken part, invested their own money and netted significant profits and learnings along the way.'
'This year alone, children in every one of the 32 counties have taken part, invested their own money and netted significant profits and learnings along the way.'

Jerry Kennelly

As the parent of a child who is in fifth or sixth class in primary school, you'd imagine that the world of career choice and work is years away.

Before 2010, I would have agreed with that thesis. Then myself and a small team started the Junior Entrepreneur Programme and I learned how wrong I was. We had spent a few years helping second- and third-level students to learn about and practice entrepreneurship and we found we were hitting a brick wall. It was too late to change behaviour and finding time for them to concentrate on learning new concepts in their second and third-level cycle was just too difficult.

Then came the revelation. Primary school was where it was at. Fifth- and sixth-class pupils are clever, wide open to learning and spend five hours a day with the same teacher in a wonderful learning environment. Primary school teachers are very bright, open to new ideas and connected with children and their families and take a real pride in the development of young children. So, we doubled down on our efforts and recruited partner entrepreneurs across the island to help us in our task.

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