Workshop organisers

Four organisations have come together to organise this, the third in the series of Innovative Entrepreneurship workshops:

Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT)

Dublin Institute of Technology has been an integral part of the Irish Higher Education system for more than a century. In that time it has continued to adapt and expand its provision to reflect a changing society and the wider economic environment. DIT is now one of Ireland’s largest and most innovative university-level institutions. A comprehensive, dual-sector doctoral-awarding institution, DIT combines the academic excellence of a traditional university with professional, career-oriented learning, preparing graduates for productive leadership roles. The core values reflected in its mission emphasise student-centred learning, useful knowledge, rigorous processes of discovery and critical enquiry, and support for entrepreneurship and diversity.

There are 20,000 students registered in DIT, and over 2000 members of staff. Nearly 20% of the student body comes from outside Ireland, creating a culturally diverse and stimulating teaching and research environment. A community of over 800 student and staff researchers are engaged in addressing 21st century challenges, ensuring that DIT plays a vital role in Ireland’s transition to a smart society. Academics and students are committed to making a significant contribution to international knowledge and enhancing Dublin’s role as Ireland’s global gate-way.

Visit: Dublin Institute of Technology

Fitzsimons Consulting

In 2000, Paula Fitzsimons made a decision to concentrate her consultancy, Fitzsimons Consulting, in areas related to entrepreneurship. This decision was made in light of a clear recognition of the benefits that flow from entrepreneurship for the wider economy and for the individual entrepreneur.

That same year, Paula identified the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) as offering the means to obtain unique research on the level of entrepreneurial activity within a county, the background and personal context of the entrepreneurs, the relevant social and cultural norms and the broader environment for entrepreneurship. The standard way in which the research was carried out meant that comparisons across countries were possible. At that stage the first GEM report had just been published and there were 10 countries involved in the research. Nothing quite like it existed previously and Paula saw its potential to inform policy and the design and development of appropriate supports for entrepreneurs. With Paula Fitzsimons as national co-ordinator and with the support of what subsequently became the DCU Ryan Academy for Entrepreneurship, Ireland became involved in GEM for the first time in 2000. There are now over 60 countries involved in annual GEM research cycles.

Informed by GEM research and with access to the expertise available across the GEM network of countries, Fitzsimons Consulting has positioned itself to the fore in the area of entrepreneurship, understanding the needs of entrepreneurs, the environment for entrepreneurship, policy and programme priorities, as well as academic research in the area.

Paula Fitzsimons designed and developed Going for Growth, an initiative to support women entrepreneurs focused on growth. The initiative, now in its fourth cycle, is funded by the European Social Fund, Enterprise Ireland and the Equality for Women Measure, Department of Justice and Equality and managed by Fitzsimons Consulting.

Visit: Fitzsimons Consulting

Tom Martin & Associates/TMA

Established in 1988, TMA are a management, innovation and marketing consultancy with a long track record of providing high quality consultancy services to clients in the public and private sectors, both in Ireland and internationally.

TMA’s client portfolio includes Irish government departments and agencies, the European Commission, CEDEFOP, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the Australian Government and the United Nations Development Programme as well as Irish non-governmental organisations and private sector companies.

TMA’s mission is to provide management, marketing and research consultancy services that enable our clients to:

  • Gain a better understanding of the impacts of their policies, products or services in the market-place;
  • Use the information we provide to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of what they do.

TMA have undertaken a number of studies that have focused on the innovation and entrepreneurship sectors. Tom Martin is the Irish country correspondent for ERAWATCH and ProInno TrendChart, the European Commission’ research and innovation policy-benchmarking information portals.

Visit: Tom Martin & Associates/TMA

The Senior Enterprise project

Senior Enterprise, which has recently been approved for support by the EU through INTERREG IVB NWE, is specifically designed to encourage a greater involvement with enterprise by those aged over 50. This may be through starting a business, alone or with others, acquiring or investing in a business, advising an entrepreneur or supporting innovation within a business owned by another. In this way Senior Enterprise addresses the concerns of the European Union with regard to the challenges posed by an ageing population, and the need to increase productivity, competitiveness and entrepreneurial activity across the EU. It is intended that as a result of Senior Enterprise that more businesses will have been started, more investment will have been made and that more senior citizens will be active as advisors in new and developing businesses.

The initiative is being led from within Ireland by the Mid-East Regional Authority and has partners in the UK (PRIME, The Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise) and France (inno TSD) and nine observers across north west Europe.

Visit: The Senior Enterprise project

Organising committee

The committee responsible for organising the workshop comprises Dermot O’Doherty, Tom Martin, Paula Fitzsimons, John Byrne and Thomas Cooney.