Entrepreneurship Scholarship Scheme
IT Sligo ACE Scholarship Scheme, was initiated in order to provide a pathway for entrepreneurial second level students into an entrepreneur-ready third level educational environment.
The project targeted all students who had completed second-level NFTE (Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship) programmes in the previous three years (c. 4500 across Ireland). In summary the process involves NFTE graduates (informed by NFTE) being invited to: lodge an Expression of Interest; attend a briefing during Enterprise & Innovation Week at IT Sligo; submit a formal application, which is assessed, with successful applicants getting a scholarship offer in July. As well as a financial sum, students get wrap around support that can include:
- Mentor (academic/business/community)
- Support from the Innovation Centre
- Forebearance in relation to external activities (as per sports scholarships)
- Link to Sligo Enterprise Society
- Key contact person (personal tutor) a “go to person” (academic or otherwise)
Subject to its success, consideration will be given to how this model can be rolled out nationally, thus improving the alignment of entrepreneurship education between secondary and higher level education as well as improving support pathways for entrepreneurial students.
A report, which details the project approach and captures the learning, is currently being produced and will be made to the wide HEI sector, through this website.