Ireland currently stands at a crucial point in her history. Almost 100 years following Easter 1916 and over 200 years since the Act of Union, cialis sale Ireland has lost her sovereignty and is dependent on other countries money to pay every day running costs. This is far from the county’s future as laid out by the first Minister for Finance of the Free State, Michael Collins.
Tune into any radio station in the country and you will be greeted by a gamut of opinions on why this is, poorly regulated banks, incompetent governments and a malfunctioning political system being high on peoples’ hit lists.
But there is one reason that you are distinctly unlikely to be given. The argument that business schools are in fact at fault, for failing to educate the leaders of tomorrow sufficiently on subjects such as Ethics and Morals. Even Sean Fitzpatrick himself, former chairman of Anglo Irish Bank did a BComm in UCD. Surely had he and his colleagues been educated more competently and comprehensively, he would have known better than to undergo the grossly unethical and corporately unadvisable transaction that he did. Indeed, we had to wait until last year for ethics to be compulsory for 1st year students of the Quinn School.
However, ethics is not the only necessary quality of a modern businessman that Irish business schools do little to develop. Entrepreneurship, and support for prospective entrepreneurs is also conspicuous in its absence. We are all intimately familiar with the success stories of companies such as Facebook and Google, companies which we begun on American college campuses, and have come to employ thousands of people across the globe.
So why can’t we turn to Ireland and pick out an illustrious list of successful companies which have had their genesis in a bedroom in Belgrove or a kitchen in Merville? Because there aren’t any, and the reason for this has been the absence of an entrepreneurship culture rooted of the attitude extolled by business schools, for too many years.
Upon graduating from College, a cut-neck race for the few prized positions available in this country ensues and after they are quickly filled the majority of the graduates go further afield to find work, frequently exclaiming that they had tried everything to get a job, not even considering the possibility of creating their own.
The impact of this culture is that the ‘brain drain’ continues and unemployment rates remain high, not to mention the macroeconomic benefits of having the genesis of large multi-nationals in your own country which Ireland foregoes.
An Irish Times article earlier this year pointed to the proven worth of ‘high-performing student entrepreneur clubs’ which have been highly successful in England and the USA. These clubs arrange courses, organise talks from successful entrepreneurs and even send student delegations to entrepreneurship hubs such as Silicon Valley. Such activity arouses interest and a willingness among students to begin their own start-ups. That UCD has had to wait till 2012 for a similar society is unfortunate, but at least the wait is over.
It may be time for business schools, and their students to stand up and give themselves a chance at a better future, rather than waiting on someone else to do it for them.
By Colm Egan