LOCAL Enterprise Office Limerick has announced that winning teenage entrepreneurs from Newcastlewest and Castletroy will represent Limerick at this year’s Student Enterprise Programme National Final on Friday 14th May.
As with last year’s event, the Final will take place virtually with approximately 80 finalist teams logging in all over the country.
The students all took part in the Limerick Final on 16th of March. An estimated 750 students from 19 school took part in the annual programme locally.
The enterprise education initiative, funded by the Government of Ireland through Enterprise Ireland and delivered by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices in local authorities throughout the country, saw over 29,000 students from just under 500 secondary schools across the country take part in 2019 / 2020. The programme supports students to create, design and market their own business, all with the hope of reaching the National Final.
In the Junior Category, the students representing Limerick at the National Final are: Alex Massey and Emma O’Connell with their entry entitled “Personalised Portraits” from Desmond College, Newcastlewest.
In the Intermediate Category, Rebecca Campbell and Ebony Reihana with their entry entitled “Fridge.LY”, also from Desmond College will be representing the County at the Final.
In the Senior Category of the competition, Limerick will be represented on May 14th by Emma O’Shea and Rebecca Enright with their entry entitled “Zero Fog” from Desmond College.
In the “Most Creative Business Idea” section open to senior students, Jack Fitzgerald from Castletroy College came out on top. His idea “Garden Buddy” goes forward to the National Final.
Special guests at the Limerick Final included Cllr Michael Collins, Mayor of the City and County of Limerick, Mike Cantwell Head of Enterprise in LEO Limerick and Garry Lowe of Whizzkids Training. There were also interviews with local entrepreneurs Aoife McNamara of AoifeIreland.com fame, and celebrity chef Eoin Sheehan of Country Munch and TV demo fame.
Limerick has had previous success in the competition with all four teams representing Limerick at the Student Enterprise Programme National Finals picking up awards.
Jack Fitzgerald of Castletroy College, took second place in the “My Entrepreneurial Journey” Competition, Olivia Rugala of “EZ Tie Close” of Desmond College Newcastlewest, received the Special Merit Award in the Junior category, Alex Healy of “Comestibles” from Cholaiste Chiarain Croom, picked up Most Commercially Viable Business in the Intermediate Category and Ross O’Shea and Thomas Lillis of “Agrimech” from Villiers School scooped Best Commercial Potential in the Senior Category.
Speaking at the county final, Mike Cantwell Head of Enterprise, of Local Enterprise Office Limerick congratulated the students, saying “We have a very successful student enterprise programme here in Limerick with over 750 students from 19 local schools taking part this year.
“Our national finalists are excellent ambassadors for the programme and we wish them the very best of luck on Friday 14th, we’ll all be logged on to support them. In what has been a particularly challenging year for students the programme has offered them an outlet outside of the usual school demands.
“What our students are learning from the programme is that with the right supports and encouragement, they can take an idea from the classroom and develop it into a real-life business. The skills they learn along the way, such as business planning, market research, selling and team-work, will help them become more entrepreneurial throughout their future careers”. he added.
The local students will be competing against hundreds of other student entrepreneurs from all over Ireland at the Student Enterprise Programme National Final, taking place virtually on the 14th May.
Since the Student Enterprise Programme began in 2003, over 220,000 students have taken part, learning key skills on how to create a business idea, start a business and grow a business. The Student Enterprise Programme also has new range of online resources for 2020 / 2021 at www.StudentEnterprise.ie, which will feature regular blogs and houses a full range of Student Enterprise resources for students and teachers.
Further information around the Student Enterprise Programme is available from www.studententerprise.ie and by searching #studententerprise on social media.