Belfast Telegraph

Fiona’s research comes up trumps

By Lindsay Fergus

Belfast woman Fiona McCartan has landed the Queen’s University 2008 Science Shop Student Award, it was announced today.

Miss McCartan picked up the accolade for her research examining factors that might influence female undergraduate students in taking entrepreneurial career paths.

She said: “There are a growing number of female entrepreneurs in Northern Ireland. An increasing number of female graduates see self-employment as an attractive, alternative career option to the traditional route of employment and choose to start their own businesses.

“The majority, however, do not have the confidence to take the leap to self-employment and lack the self-efficacy needed to do so.”

Miss McCartan, who graduated from Queens with an MSc in Management, worked with female undergraduate students at the city’s university to find out more about what would encourage, or hinder them from starting their own business.

The project concluded that universities should embed entrepreneurship training within undergraduate degree programmes, so that all students are equipped with the basic knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in business.

Miss McCartan added: “Mentoring schemes, whereby established businesses provide advice and support to women, could also be vital in encouraging females to pursue their dreams of owning their own business.”

Queen’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor Gerry McCormac who presented her with the award said: “The judging panel felt that Fiona’s work really met the needs of her placement organisation, Women in Business. ”

Belfast Telegraph