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SCHOOL OF BUSINESS MARKS THE END OF INNOVATIVE FÁILTE IRELAND BSC IN SMALL ENTERPRISE MANAGEMENT

The twenty three participants on WIT’s BSc in Small Enterprise Management run in conjunction with Fáilte Ireland, attended the final workshop of the course and a reception to mark the occasion earlier in April.

I an very happy to have been on this programme.

This innovative programme was the first degree level course in Ireland to focus on the professional development needs of owner/managers of small tourism and hospitality enterprises. The twenty three participants represent enterprises across a number of tourism sectors including accommodation, restaurant, angling, water-based activities, conference, and education tourism and hail from nine counties including Kerry, Waterford, Dublin, Wexford, Kilkenny, Cork, Donegal, Mayo and Clare.

The degree programme emerged from years of collaboration between Fáilte Ireland and the School of Business, including the Fáilte Ireland Tourism Learning Networks (TLN) initiative, which the School managed in the south.

According to Dr Anthony Foley, Course Bass fishing wexfordLeader, “The participants are local tourism champions and have, through the programme, developed their professional and business management skills. A key outcome of the programme has been the development of distinct network development templates. The programme is also seen as a flagship programme for its pedagogical design, based on a Problem-based Learning (PBL) model, and its blended delivery.”

The Fáilte Ireland BSc in Small Enterprise Management has made international waves and just this month a chapter on the degree published by Emerald has been selected as an Outstanding Author Contribution in the 2014 Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence. The chapter has been widely disseminated through journal articles, book chapter and national and international academic conferences, totalling eleven peer reviewed papers.

In attendance at the event were Dr Tony Lenehan, Head of Industry Services; Mr Colm Breheny, Client Services Manager; Mr Peter Stocksborough, Client Services Manager; all from Fáilte Ireland as well as staff from the School of Business including Dr Anthony Foley, Course Leader; Dr Thomas O’Toole, Head of the School of Business; Dr Denis Harrington, Head of Graduate Business; and Ms. Joan McDonald; Head of Department of Management and Organisation along with WIT lecturers on the programme and staff connected to the Fáilte Ireland TLN initiative.

The degree is based in the Department of Graduate Business and is part of the School of Business’s engagement and knowledge strategy.  This has a linked theme into the launch of the Higher Diploma in Business in Service Design and Innovation, and also through the GIFT Interreg project on green innovation (co-managed by the School of Business) and many of the class participants are members. There has also been the parallel growth of an excellent tourism industry advisory and development facility at the School of Business, through RIKON.

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