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The SmARtEST Programme is funded by Cork Institute of Technology, under the Rísam Scholarship PhD programme. It aims to continue the work started by the European Commission funded Erasmus+ MyBusiness project. MyBusiness project produced a specially designed entrepreneurial skills training programme for persons over 50 years of age and it was piloted successfully in three European countries, including Ireland.

The SmARtEST follow-on programme will explore entrepreneurial skills training needs for persons of 65 years or over. This is an understudied, underserved group which is increasing in demographic significance. Inclusive entrepreneurship seeks to ensure that all people, regardless of their characteristics and socio-economic background, have an equal opportunity to start and manage their own business (OECD/European Commission, 2013). Broader definitions of entrepreneurship as ‘creating value for others’ and entrepreneurship education as practice of entrepreneurial methods mean that entrepreneurial skills training can be relevant outside of the narrow definitions of starting a business and mean that an appropriate entrepreneurial skills training programme may be beneficial at a lifetime transition stage, such as retirement.

The acronym SmARtEST stands for Smart Ageing and Renewal through Entrepreneurial Skills Training

This training programme is intended for persons who are 65 years or over and it focuses on identification of existing entrepreneurial skills and development of an entrepreneurial mindset. The programme is delivered over 10 weeks with 6 training contact hours per week. It provides older participants with the opportunity to explore, identify, plan and implement an idea, whether an entrepreneurial idea, a start-up business idea or a social business idea and this is explored with the support of other likeminded participants and an experienced facilitator.

In collaboration with Cork Education and Training Board (CETB), a pilot of this programme kicked off on May 14, 2019. The content is made up of four units as follows:

Unit 1: Exploring entrepreneurial skills and the entrepreneurial mindset
Unit 2: Developing entrepreneurial ideas and getting started with a business
Unit 3: Marketing/Networking to support your idea
Unit 4: Money Matters – financing your idea and funding sources and other supports

As part of a Rísám funded PhD project, the SmARtEST study seeks to understand what benefits entrepreneurial skills training may provide for participants and explores if social benefits, such as improvements in entrepreneurial self-efficacy, quality of life, cognitive outcomes and resilience result from training.

If you have any queries or would like further information, please contact Dr Sarah Davis on


To learn more about MyBusiness project please, click on the link
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