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Rísim Scholarship PhD Programme

Each year, Cork Institute of Technology (now MTU) invited applications from across the institute for the Rísam PhD Scholarship Programme. The Irish word Rísam, meaning “to strive or achieve”, underlines the purpose of this scholarship programme which was to promote high-end research directed towards the generation of new knowledge or original applications of existing knowledge.

The SmARtEST Programme was funded by Cork Institute of Technology, under the Rísam Scholarship PhD programme. The acronym SmARtEST stands for Smart Ageing and Renewal through Entrepreneurial Skills Training and the project aimed to investigate the benefits and barriers of being entrepreneurial in later life stages. It aimed to continue the work started by the European Commission funded Erasmus+ MyBusiness project. The 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 explored entrepreneurial skills training needs for persons over 65 years of age. 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.


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