Dublin City University Business School (DCU) has been recognised at the first-ever Small Business Charter Excellence Awards. The school won the category ‘Outstanding Support for Student Enterprise and Entrepreneurship’ for its ground-breaking initiative “Learning Innovation for Enterprise: Supporting the LIFE of an Entrepreneurial Student”.

Dr. Catherine Faherty, Assistant Professor of Enterprise, Prof Teresa Hogan, Professor of Entrepreneurial Finance and DCU Manager of the Small Business Charter, Dr Eric Clinton, Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship and Director of the DCU National Centre for Family Business, and Professor Dominic Elliott, Dean of Dublin City University Business School received the award at the Small Business Charter Summer Reception held on 22 June at the House of Lords. The reception was attended by business leaders, politicians, media, and business schools from across the UK and Ireland.

The LIFE programme was launched in September 2019 as part of DCU Business School’s redesigned first-year curriculum. The programme is based around business in all its forms and entrepreneurship. All first-year DCU Business School students complete the LIFE module and it’s an integral, foundational part of our curriculum.

Students learn the A-Z of business in all its forms through Hackathons, online learning, conference seminars, applied projects, reflective writing, and through hearing directly from businesses. Over the course of one year, students understand and experience entrepreneurship as it applies to multiple business situations, including family businesses, start-ups, and social enterprises, right through to large corporations.

It was noted by the judges that the Learning Innovation for Enterprise programme demonstrated exemplary support for student enterprise and entrepreneurship through LIFE – a capstone enterprise education module taken by all first-year students across eight undergraduate programmes.

The Judges commented: “Skills for life are hard-wired into Dublin City University’s LIFE course and are relevant to the mechanics and mindset of an entrepreneur’s attributes and attitude.  This proves that such skills can be learnt and developed to challenge thinking about opportunities for business.”

Commenting on the award Professor Dominic Elliott, Dean of Dublin City University Business School said: “The team here at the School is really delighted to receive this award and to be recognised for the brilliant LIFE initiative. Our work with the small, medium-sized business community is amongst the most rewarding things that my colleagues, students and I do. Through the Small Business Charter (SBC) we’ve undertaken initiatives that have really stretched the imagination and insight of the students and helped them gain an unparalleled understanding of how businesses operate and the challenges they face. This ‘real-life’ experience sets them up brilliantly for life after university.

“We previously won the European Award for Innovation in Teaching & Learning and it’s great that we can add this award to our cabinet!”

Michael Hayman, Chair of judges, Chair of the Small Business Charter added; “The judges noted the incredible quality of entrants for the inaugural Small Business Charter awards. Today’s winners represent excellence from around the country and exemplify the immense impact of business schools on entrepreneurship and small business growth, productivity, and innovation. Our congratulations go to all five of the recognised schools and we look forward to following the future success of their transformative programmes.”

About the awards

The SBC Excellence Awards have been created to celebrate SBC schools’ own ‘home-grown’ business support initiatives which highlight their own expertise and innovations, working in tandem with the spirit and purpose of the SBC.

There were three categories of awards, representing the three pillars of the holistic SBC assessment:

  • Outstanding Support for Small Business
  • Outstanding Stakeholder Engagement
  • Outstanding Support for Student Enterprise and Entrepreneurship

Over 40 entries were received, with 12 schools’ entries shortlisted as finalists.  The panel of six judges, representing senior academics from SBC accredited business schools, SME business leaders and other key stakeholders, made one Excellence Award for each of the three categories and have highly commended two further entries.  To maintain impartiality academic judges did not vote for their own schools.

Visit Small Business Charter here




21/11/2022: Five year strategic partnership will deliver a range of activities that will maintain and enhance KPMG’s contribution to business education in Ireland.

KPMG, one of the leading providers of professional services, has signed a five year partnership agreement with Dublin City University Business School. For over four decades, KPMG has been a strong supporter of accounting education at DCU.

Through a substantial philanthropic commitment, this agreement will make a significant contribution to the Business School’s mission to educate leaders and professionals for the global marketplace and to contribute to the development of individuals, industry and society through its teaching, research and engagement with industry.

Expanding and building upon existing engagements, it will see collaboration on curriculum development, guest lectures, student awards, deeper ties with DCU’s work placement programme and human capital enrichment. It will also see collaboration on research, across topics related to accounting and the accounting profession, talent development and human resource management, leadership, innovation and digitalisation. Additionally, it will offer professional development and training opportunities for KPMG staff.

Prof Daire Keogh, President of Dublin City University said:

“This new strategic partnership marks a very welcome extension of our relationship with KPMG. It is a collaboration that will be of huge benefit to students at DCU Business School, both in terms of the evolution of our innovative and industry-relevant courses and in relation to increasing access to high quality work placements in one of the world’s leading companies.”

Prof Barbara Flood, Professor of Accounting at DCU Business School said

“DCU Business School has an excellent reputation for its degree programmes, which are industry-engaged, research-informed and international in orientation, providing students with the knowledge, skills and values that enable them to flourish in their careers.

This new strategic partnership will deepen the School’s long-standing relationship with KPMG and it will enrich the educational experience and career development of our students today and into the future.”

Seamus Hand, Managing Partner at KPMG in Ireland, said

“At KPMG we believe in the importance of investing in education for our people, our business and our communities. We’re proud of our ongoing relationship with DCU and we look forward to this new partnership with DCU Business School which will help students develop fulfilling and exciting careers whilst contributing to the pool of talented graduates so fundamental to Ireland’s success.”

About KPMG

KPMG is a leading provider of professional services, offering a range of audit, tax and advisory services to a broad range of domestic and international clients across all sectors of business and the economy. They help their clients explore potential obstacles to change and collaborate on critical decisions that can deliver real value to their businesses.

KPMG is at the heart of business in Ireland, with 108 partners and almost 3,500 people based in Dublin, Belfast, Cork and Galway.

About DCU Business School

DCU Business School offers a distinctive, high quality, industry-engaged, and research-informed curriculum across seven undergraduate programmes, eighteen Masters’ programmes, and a doctoral programme.

As one of Europe’s most dynamic young business schools, it collaborates closely with business and industry to ensure that its educational offerings are responsive to the needs of people, organisations, economies and societies.

It has a reputation for programmes which develop ‘work ready’ graduates and enrich the leadership competencies of experienced professionals and a faculty and staff that are deeply committed to supporting student learning.


21/07/2022:  DCU Business School has been reaccredited with Small Business Charter status as announced today, July 21st, the only university in the Republic of Ireland to hold this prestigious accreditation.

This award is in recognition of the effective role DCU plays in supporting the development of small and medium sized businesses in Ireland and in promoting entrepreneurship among its students and within the Irish entrepreneurship eco-system.

DCU, Ireland’s University of Enterprise, was the first designated Small Business Charter university on the island of Ireland (2017) and remains the only University in the Republic of Ireland to have Charter status.

The Charter recognised DCU’s extensive and effective engagement with businesses and entrepreneurs via specialist enterprise-focused units including the Business School-based Centre for Executive and International Education (CEIE), the National Centre for Family (NCFB) and the Irish Institute of Digital Business (IIDB), DCU Alpha Innovation Campus, DCU Invent, and the DCU Student Entrepreneurial Hub.  Our activities to promote enterprise are supported by research, teaching and industry engagement that are delivered to the highest international standards as evidenced in the University’s and Business School’s international rankings.

The Assessment Panel were particularly impressed with the school’s continued contribution to the development of opportunities for SMEs in the local area, through a comprehensive range of learner focused, immersive initiatives such as the Go Global for Growth Programme and the Family Business Continuity workshops.  Feedback for these events was overwhelmingly positive, with participants commenting that they appreciated the opportunities for continued networking post-event.

Colm O’Gorman, Executive Dean of Dublin City University Business School said:

“DCU Business School is delighted that we have maintained our prestigious Small Business Charter accreditation from the Chartered Association of Business Schools. This accreditation recognises our close collaborations with ambitious Irish small and medium sized enterprises, with Irish family businesses, with the Irish entrepreneurial ecosystem, and our broader engagement with both Irish and multinational enterprises. Close industry connections underpin the school’s focus on ensuring that our graduates are work ready and that our internationally recognised research impacts on organisational successes and managerial practice.”

Anne Kiem OBE, Executive Director of the Small Business Charter and Chief Executive of the Chartered Association of Business Schools, said:

“We congratulate Dublin City University Business School for retaining its Small Business Charter Award. They have remained committed to supporting small businesses, student entrepreneurship and the local economy. The work that the school do to help businesses grow and to support students into entrepreneurship is having a demonstrable positive impact on businesses and entrepreneurs within its regional economy.”

To achieve the Small Business Charter award, universities undergo a rigorous assessment to determine the depth and effectiveness of their business engagement and business support which is overseen by the Chartered Association of Business Schools.

For more information about the award, visit http://smallbusinesscharter.org/about/

Pictured From left: Professor Regina Connolly; Ukrainian ambassador to Ireland, Larysa Gerasko; Maura McAdam, Professor of Management at DCU Business School; Laura Mahoney, DCU’s Executive Director of Engagement.

23/06/2022:  70 guests attended the three-day Diana International Conference at DCU’s St Patrick’s conference this week, where they joined global research experts from 32 countries to discuss and share their research on women’s entrepreneurship and digital business.

Conference lead Maura McAdam, Professor of Management at Dublin City University’s Business School, said:

“The aim of this year’s conference was to underscore the importance of women’s lived experiences of digital entrepreneurship and to provide both theoretical and practical, solution-driven advice/outcomes for entrepreneurial women. In keeping with DCU’s core vision, the conference is showcasing impact driven leading-edge women’s entrepreneurship research across the two days.”

On Wednesday 22 June, some of Ireland’s leading entrepreneurs joined researchers for the conference Impact Day to discuss digital entrepreneurship. Speakers included Chupi Sweetman of Chupi Jewellery; Niamh Parker, Altada; Jennifer Rock, The Skin Nerd; Sonia Neary, Wellola; Catherine  Moroney, AIB; and Jennifer Melia, Enterprise Ireland.

Ukrainian ambassador to Ireland Larysa Gerasko also spoke at the Impact Day, which was launched by an online address from Robert Troy, Minister of State in the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment with responsibility for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation.


Established in 1999 by five founding scholars, The Diana Project engages in research activities, forums and scholarship focusing on women entrepreneurs and their growth.

The Diana Project produced the first research identifying the challenges that women face in acquiring growth capital to scale and expand their businesses.  By identifying and focusing on the vital importance of women entrepreneurs for wealth creation, innovation and economic advancement throughout the world, The Diana Project aims to create a research community where important theoretical, empirical and practical questions can be explored internationally.

Last week saw DCU Business School’s final year business students enter the Dragons’ Den to pitch their New Enterprise Development ideas to over 30 industry experts from across the country.  Over the three days, more than 270 of the School’s budding entrepreneurs presented their ideas in front of the ‘Dragons’.  Students were given 7 minutes to showcase their ideas followed by 10 minutes of gruelling questions in the Den.  The Dragons shared their valuable expertise and advice to the students each day, with representation from companies such as Ergo, Google, AIB, Irish Life, Openet, Irish Rail, Aptiv and Vilicom to name a few.

New Enterprise Development is a year-long module that tasks students with creating an innovative product or service idea and putting it through the various stages of the new venture creation process including concept development, feasibility analysis, digital marketing, financial planning and finally the business plan and presentation in the form of a Dragons’ Den.

This year’s cohort created a wide range of innovative product and service ideas.  From biodegradable planting pots and self-cleaning coffee cups to flood-prevention technology and online reputation management software, each of the 56 ideas were innovative and unique in their own respects.  The standard of each group was exceptional throughout the event and we wish those going on to pursue their ideas further the very best of luck.

Find out more about New Enterprise Development here:

Building an Entrepreneurship Ecosystem through New Enterprise Development

My Experience with the “New Enterprise Development” module – Peter Killalea

March 21st & 22nd: The DCU Social Innovation Hackathon – Hack4Change – took place on campus in the U building, a welcome return to the in-person format since pre-Covid.  Over 600 students along with 11 speakers, 30 mentors and several volunteers participated in the hackathon.  Part of the Learning Innovation for Enterprise (LIFE) module, the hackathon was focused on encouraging students to work collectively in groups to develop potential solutions for a sustainability-related problem.  The students were also encouraged to map their problem statements with one of the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Four half-day sessions were organized over two days.  Students were divided into groups, the size of which ranged from four to seven members.  The session began with lightning talks by speakers.  The speakers included entrepreneurs, industry experts and academics and represented a variety of prominent institutions such as MasterCard, Dublin City Council, Pure Clothing and Accenture.  Group activity followed the lightning talks, wherein the student teams worked on defining their problem statement.  After finalising the problem statement, the students started working on a potential solution.  This activity also involved a deliberation between the student teams and the mentors.  The mentors offered their feedback and insights on the proposed solution.  The final activity of the hackathon involved a solution validation exercise, where the teams presented their final solution to the mentors and incorporated their feedback into the final output.

As the final output of the Hackathon, students were asked to post a couple of images (one for the problem and the other for the proposed solution) on Instagram.  A total of 66 resulting Instagram posts were shared on the DCUHack4Change Instagram account.  The students focused on a wide variety of societal problems ranging from sustainable fashion, affordable housing, mental health, waste disposal, air pollution, food security and sustainable farming among others.  The students actively shared their solutions in their wider community and engaged with the Instagram posts of other teams.  This student-led engagement led to a sharp increase in the engagement metrics.  Over 1360 people engaged with the Instagram posts generating thousands of likes over the two days, highlighting the success of the event.  The students also won special prizes for the table quiz in each hackathon session.

Each hackathon session ended with a pizza party.  Overall, the students enjoyed the session and saw it as a fun learning activity.

Author: Anish Tiwari, Marie S. Curie Fellow & PhD. Candidate, DCU Business School

Find out more about the LIFE module here:

LIFE module wins 7th Innovation & Entrepreneurship Teaching Excellence Awards

LIFE module wins European Award for Innovation in Teaching and Learning

Today DCU Business School welcomed Mr John Purdy, Co-Founder and Non-Executive Chairman of Ergo, to speak to the final year New Enterprise Development class about his journey from co-founding Ergo 28 years ago to creating a €100m business.

With his vast experience in co-founding a business and steering it through extraordinary growth, John gave the class insights into the most important factors that contribute to a start-up’s success. One of his key pieces of advice to students was the importance of always moving forward and having a healthy attitude towards change. For budding entrepreneurs to thrive and grow, they must surround themselves with people who are honest and realistic. He described how ego is often the first reason why companies fail, and that keeping your feet on the ground and remaining humble is key to sustainable success as an entrepreneur. John’s three ‘B’s’ for students – which he frequently referred to throughout his own entrepreneurial journey – are to be brave, be bold, and believe.

Students will take great inspiration from John’s insights as they move toward the Dragon’s Den stage of their New Enterprise Development project next month.

Study Business at DCU: https://business.dcu.ie/undergraduate-full-time/

The Greatest Thing since Sliced Bread?

Food Sustainability, Innovation and Entrepreneurship come to life for MSc Insights and Innovation Students

Bord Bia and DCU Business School teamed up this year to develop an exciting new Masters programme to find, train, motivate and develop a new generation of innovation champions across the food, drink and beverage sectors. The programme, MSc Insights and Innovation, is an 18 month programme combining study and work placement. It commenced in September 2020 with an intake of 15 students after a highly competitive recruitment process.

Under the guidance of Programme Director Dr Peter Robbins, the programme ensures that students learn from some of Ireland’s food and innovation industry leaders from both Bord Bia and DCU’s networks. This week saw the group undertake a Green Venture pitch, as part of their Entrepreneurship and Innovation module with Dr Roisin Lyons. This 8-week module develops participants’ understanding of opportunity recognition, innovation, the entrepreneurial ecosystem and strategic planning. Students also develop their own business idea, working in groups to bring a sustainable or green idea from concept to product or service with a plan for further scaling up. This module hones two vitally important skills in the development of talent for Ireland’s future in food and beverage innovation: growth mindset and opportunity identification, along with sustainability.

The module culminated in a presentation and pitch of these product ideas to a team of judges composed of:

  • Noreen Lanigan – Bord Bia Regional Manager for Europe and North America – and Sustainability Champion – DCU alumnus
  • Eadaoin McCarthy – Insight and Innovation Consultant
  • Eamon Quinn – serial entrepreneur and real-life Dragon 

The five ideas presented by MSc Insights and Innovation students focused on the food and beverage industry are:

  • Cook Inside the Box – a B2B subscription meal and experience service for companies to promote healthy eating among employees
  • Ishka Force – sustainable cleaning system for institutions
  • Revolve – a circular economy glass bottle collection service
  • ReGin – a premixed low alcohol gin product
  • Upstream – a product to increase the efficiency of recycling and waste management in industrial kitchens

Module Coordinator Dr Roisin Lyons said,

The innovation and professionalism displayed by these groups was of an incredible standard. The judges, guests and I were very pleased by the level of depth and validation that the class had sought in their venture strategies. My thanks to the judges for their time and excellent insight. It is wonderful to see such a broad range of ideas, all which share core values in sustainability and waste reduction.

Researchers at Dublin City University Business School are currently undertaking the first national dataveillance study of the impact of mandatory wearable location-tracking technologies on An Garda Síochána.

Led by Prof. Regina Connolly and Clíona McParland of DCU Business School in collaboration with the Garda Representative Association and the Association of Garda Sergeants & Inspectors, the research examines the digital data privacy concerns of all Gardaí in relation to a wearable surveillance technology that has become mandatory for all active duty members of the police force, revealing its impact on the organisation.  The findings will be used to advocate for transparent data governance and policy formulation.

Principal Investigator Prof. Regina Connolly from DCU Business School said:

“Increasing use of AI and monitoring technologies in the workplace are accentuating employee privacy concerns regarding data governance.  This is a rare access invitation to conduct a nationwide examination of the information privacy implications of these technologies for An Garda Síochána, determining their individual and organizational impact in a unique public sector context.    The insights from this study will inform data governance policy formation, as well as providing guidance to other commercial and public sector agencies considering similar workforce digital transformation initiatives.”

President of the Garda Representative Association, James Mulligan, said:

“We are very grateful to DCU Business School for leading this research.  It will provide An Garda Síochána with the first national capture of the digital privacy and health concerns of all of our members, enabling us as to understand the large-scale impact of this mandatory location tracking technology on the organisation and assisting us in ensuring that data privacy concerns of Gardaí are fully addressed through appropriate governance policies.”

10 June 2020:  Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross today announced a new expert taskforce to examine and make recommendations to him on what needs to be done to get Irish aviation back up again and working as a driver of economic recovery.

Dr. Cathal Guiomard Assistant Professor of Aviation in DCU Business School joins the team of aviation industry leaders where their challenge is to “spearhead the rehabilitation of the aviation industry in a dynamic, swift and sustainable manner.”

Minister Ross commented:

“It is critical that Government, industry move together on a recovery plan for Irish aviation, balancing public health concerns and government policy on travel to develop a clear pathway to recovery for the industry, for their customers, their staff and for the general public. I would like to take this opportunity to wish the taskforce all the best in the coming challenging weeks and I thank them in advance for their service.”

Dr. Guiomard is a lecturer in Aviation Management, prior to which he acquired lengthy experience of policy analysis and senior management, leading the Irish Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR) where he managed teams carrying out sectoral price reviews as well as those undertaking licensing & consumer protection roles.

The full press release can be viewed here: www.gov.ie/en/press-release/c46ea-minister-ross-announces-new-taskforce-for-aviation-recovery/

For further information on the BSc in Aviation Management click here: business.dcu.ie/course/aviation-management-aviation-management-with-pilot-studies/

For further information the MSc in Management (Aviation Leadership) click here: business.dcu.ie/course/msc-in-management-aviation-leadership/