Enterprise should be encouraged, facilitated and adequately supported - Liadh Ní Riada MEP
Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has welcomed the passing of a European resolution around promoting youth entrepreneurship through education and training in Strasbourg today.
Speaking from Strasbourg, Ms Ní Riada said;
"Entrepreneurship is an important driver of economic growth and job creation. We need to move towards a situation where enterprise, especially at a community level, is encouraged, facilitated and adequately supported.
"I recently authored an opinion on Green Growth Opportunities for Small and Medium Enterprises and during this process I engaged with the SME, social enterprise and green economy sectors. I understand that access to finance, and the absence of social welfare and tax benefit supports are huge worries for many entrepreneurs.
"The focus of this report is on our young people and they do face similar obstacles. Our young people are at even more of a disadvantage and it is they who have been hardest hit as a result of the economic crisis.
Ms Ni Riada, a substitute on the committee for Culture and Education continued;
"According to recent figures the Irish youth unemployment rate at 21%, is still above the EU average. The Youth Employment Initiative has fallen way too short of what is required. This report presents an opportunity for us to ensure that our young people who have good and innovative ideas for new start-ups are supported and encouraged in the best way possible.
"Education has a real part to play in the developing of a culture of innovation in the workforce. In all levels of education the teaching of practical entrepreneurship skills and the fostering of motivation and readiness should be provided. This may be done by providing specific training to teachers to enable them to foster and encourage entrepreneurial skills and to consider including entrepreneurship as part of the education curriculum.
"The onus undoubtedly is on each Member State to ensure that our young entrepreneurs have the access to finance that they require and that they are supported at every stage."