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Friends of Young Enterprise Foundation Inc.

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For a prosperous Northern Ireland economy, more business start-up and private sector growth is essential. Investment in programs developing the entrepreneurial skills, attitudes and aspirations of young people is needed to achieve this ambition.  

Our Mission

Friends of Young Enterprise Northern Ireland Foundation Inc. builds educational and enterprise connections between the people of the United States and Ireland. We empower young people, particularly those in social need, to develop their entrepreneurial talents and ambitions.

The Foundation provides a unique way to support the work of Young Enterprise Northern Ireland, a member of global NGO Junior Achievement. The Foundation creates opportunities for shared programing and partnership with American entrepreneurs through transatlantic educational connections and initiatives.

There are currently 300,000 young people attending school in Northern Ireland. The Foundation has a particular focus on nurturing entrepreneurial talent in the post-primary and providing more intensive experiential experiences to young people who are committed to starting their own business – mainly through experiential visits to the US. 

Friends of Young Enterprise intends to raise $200k per annum support 20,000 young people from areas of greatest social need to get involved in entrepreneurial activity.      

Friends of Young Enterprise Northern Ireland Foundation is a non-profit corporation with public charity 501(c)(3) status in the United States

Donate via PayPal below or contact to find out more.


Building an entrepreneurial economy in Northern Ireland 

During the Belfast visit to mark 25 years of the Good Friday Agreement, the US President met young entrepreneurs that grew up in peace and praised them for their commitment and ambition to grow the local economy. By investing in practical entrepreneurship skills programmes across the school population, young people develop their skills and self-confidence for future career choices.

Young Enterprise Northern Ireland is the leading entrepreneurship education NGO in Northern Ireland, working with young people aged 5-25 from all communities, backgrounds and abilities to prepare them for employment and entrepreneurship. As part of Junior Achievement Worldwide network, the programmes are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, including quality education and reducing inequality. 

Image of UN Sustainable Development Goals
UN Sustainable Development Goals that Young Enterprise work supports

Young Enterprise programmes include interactive day courses with students being inspired by volunteers from the business community, right through to students setting up and running their own student Company and experiencing the challenges of business first-hand. 

The Special Envoy to Northern Ireland for Economic Affairs, Joe Kennedy III, attended the charity’s annual awards, and met with many of the beneficiaries, stating, “Young Enterprise is all about equipping young people with the skills that they need in order to not just navigate a changing world, but to lead it. To be able to ask questions and find answers, cut through hard topics. Giving them the resilience and confidence, to know that this is not going to be an easy path, but it is a path worth taking.

“Northern Ireland is an incredibly bright and capable hands. The young people here are as talented, as motivated, and as driven as any anywhere across the globe. What I’m so excited to do in my role now is Special Envoy to Northern Ireland for Economic Affairs for President Biden is to help champion these folks and shine a spotlight on them.

“The Belfast Good Friday Agreement was about creating peace and prosperity and stability for the people of Northern Ireland so that the next generation could have a brighter future and a brighter horizon. We are now 25 years after that historic day. It’s time for young people to take the lead.”

Joe Kennedy III
Joe Kennedy III, United States Special Envoy to Northern Ireland for Economic Affairs

Friends of Young Enterprise NI Foundation Board

Ciaran Sheehan (President)

He was previously Chair of Young Enterprise Northern Ireland which he led for 7 years.   Ciaran is an entrepreneur having established several successful companies including Clarendon Executive.  Ciaran has strong international networks with Irish ex-Pats at C Level.  

Declan Breslin (Treasurer)

Declan is the treasurer of the Foundation, and has recently returned to NI with his family, following a successful career with JP Morgan in New York (Global Head of Client Service).  

Dan Delaney

Dan is CEO of the Delaney Policy Group which specializes in lobbying and advocacy.  Dan has been a longtime supporter of the Foundation.  He is a US citizen based in Boston. 

Kathryn Ellis 

Kathryn is the Director of the Innovation Institute (UMII) at the University of Massachusetts near Boston and has supported the alumni visits over recent years and is extremely well-connected. 

Leon Gibson

Leon is a YE alumni member and has joint NI/US citizenship. He led the recent USA Connect mission of YE alumni to the States, so is well-placed to speak to the benefits of the work of YE.  Leon is a US citizen, currently living and working in London. 

Matthew Bain

Matthew is a Young Enterprise alumni member and l. As the son of a local entrepreneur in Northern Ireland, he has always been interested in business. Matthew is currently living and working in London in Venture capital. 

Tony McManus 

Tony runs the global Enterprise Data business at Bloomberg LP and while he is from Belfast, he is based in New York.   He is well connected and has been a very active supporter of the Foundation, including hosting visits which appear to have been a highlight 

Kevin Roland 

Kevin is a Managing Director within Teneo, a Global CEO advisory Firm.  Kevin is a US national but lives with his family in Galway.  He has been a great supporter of the work we do.  

Attorney to Board –

Sean P Moynihan

Sean is the Founder and Principal of The Moynihan Group, a Boston based boutique law firm specializing in government relations and public policy, corporate law, and transatlantic ventures. Sean is past President of Irish Network Boston (IN Boston) and is currently Vice President of Irish Network USA. Sean helped establish the Foundation and supports the Foundation on its compliance and governance. 

Friends of Young Enterprise Northern Ireland Foundation is a non-profit corporation with public charity 501(c)(3) status in the United States

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