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Hincks Research on Female and Senior Entrepreneurship Presented in Germany

Hincks Research on Female and Senior Entrepreneurship Presented in Germany

24 January, 2017

Last week, Dr Breda Kenny and Sarah Davis, Hincks Centre for Entrepreneurship Excellence travelled to the Leuphana Conference on Entrepreneurship at the University of Lüneburg, Germany to present research papers based on two recently completed EU projects. The first paper, “The Entrepreneurial Individual Versus the Entrepreneur: The Case of Female Survivors of Domestic Abuse in the Quest for Economic Independence,” is based on the New Start project experience and outputs.

The purpose of this paper is to explore the general and entrepreneurial outcomes of a training programme for women survivors of gender-based violence.  The training programme included employability and entrepreneurship skills combined with elements of personal-development to improve self-confidence and self-efficacy. Empowerment of women who had experienced gender-based violence was the goal of the Daphne III project called NEW START which ran from 2014-2016 in seven EU countries, namely Ireland, Belgium, Spain, Italy, France, Romania and Greece.  Across all seven countries, a total of 167 women participated in a tailored version of the New Start training programme to meet the particular needs of the women in each country. The findings of this research show that there is benefit in extending the training available to survivors of domestic violence by bringing in outsider trainers and by covering mainstream employability and entrepreneurship training content.  A key message from the research is that the benefits of entrepreneurship education are not exclusively for start-up companies. Many of the women trained increased their sense of initiative and entrepreneurial skills meaning that their ability to turn ideas into action increased. There was also evidence of empowerment and emancipatory outcomes for entrepreneurial action.

The second paper - “From Unemployment to Self-Employment for Over 50s: What Training and Support Works?” presents findings from the MYBUSINESS (Empowering entrepreneurial skills and unleashing potential of unemployed senior) Erasmus+ KA2 Strategic Partnership project. The project ran from September 2014 to August 2016 with the objective of promoting senior entrepreneurship, healthy ageing and the labour market reintegration of people 50+, through the creation of a tailored training and mentoring methodology. The aim of the paper is to identify the entrepreneurial learning and support needs of older unemployed, highlighting the barriers that need to be addressed, and to explore the impact of an entrepreneurship training programme on the entrepreneurial self-efficacy and intent of older unemployed. Focus groups and interviews with 132 seniors and 50 stakeholders in the entrepreneurship and unemployment sectors across five countries were conducted. This paper also reports on findings from pre and post programme evaluations and survey methodology from a senior entrepreneurship programme with 55 participants across three countries.

The findings in the paper provide a deeper understanding of the entrepreneurial learning and support needs of older unemployed. There are multiple implications from this study. For entrepreneurship educators, the various components of designing a tailored entrepreneurship programme for older unemployed are identified and outlined. For enterprise and unemployment support agencies, it provides evidence of the initial and ongoing support needs for starting and running a business at this stage of life. It also provides evidence of the motivations and fears they have in this context.

Feel free to contact isabel.rossiter@cit.ie  if you need further information on these or other national and international projects at the Hincks Centre.

                                                            

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