Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Business (Research)


Institute of Technology Tralee

First Advisor

Ms. Ann Sears


This dissertation seeks to investigate enterprise education at senior cycle in second level schools in county Kerry. In carrying out this investigation the researcher seeks to identify the factors encouraging and inhibiting enterprise education. The reason for this research is that education plays a specific role in reinforcing a positive culture towards entrepreneurship. It provides students with the necessary skills to have confidence in themselves and in their ability to identify an opportunity and set up their own business.

Existing studies in the area provide several leads as to the ideal place to be taught enterprise and about the factors encouraging and inhibiting enterprise education in schools.

As part of the research process, a survey of a sample of second level schools in Kerry was undertaken. A questionnaire was the research instrument chosen for this study. The schools were chosen from all over the county in order to gain a good representation of the county.

The mean age of the respondents surveyed was sixteen years of age. Forty six per cent were male and fifty four per cent were female. They were mainly fifth year students and from co-educational secondary schools in Kerry.

Overall the study found the majority of students in Kerry had a good knowledge of enterprise. It was highlighted students felt enterprise could be incorporated into practical subjects, such as home economics and engineering. The students of this study comprised a list of characteristics of a successful entrepreneur which matched the work of Bums (2001). Kerry students satisfied the bom versus made school of thought with the majority believing entrepreneurs are made. The study also highlighted that few students participate in running mini companies in their schools, yet those who participate claim it was an effective process. Furthermore, it was proven that Kerry schools are not participating in enterprise competitions. Finally, Kerry is a county that is flourishing with successful entrepreneurs, yet few schools invite entrepreneurs in to speak to class groups about enterprise.

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