Limerick schools encouraged to show enterprising spirit

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Niamh O’Mahoney from Desmond College, Newcastle West whose business “SmartArntU” was a senior category finalist in last year's National Schools Enterprise competition.

SECONDARY schools across Limerick are being encouraged to sign up for this year’s Student Enterprise Programme to learn how to create and run their own businesses.

An initiative of the Local Enterprise Offices (LEO), the programme helps students pick up key skills such as ideation, marketing, finance and sales with almost 500 schools competing in the Junior, Intermediate and Senior categories.

Recent ambassadors for the programme have included Limerick All-Ireland Hurling winner Sean Finn, athlete Derval O’Rourke and Irish rugby international Josh Van Der Flier.

Local coordinators in every area to support teachers and students throughout the year of the programme, which helps foster entrepreneurship in students and gives them key skills they can bring with them into later life.

The programme, which  is run through the network of Local Enterprise Offices, supported by Enterprise Ireland and the local authorities, with is open to all secondary school students from first year through to sixth year.

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Limerick has had success over the years with two of the top five finalists last year coming from Desmond College in Newcastle West.

Niamh O’Mahoney’s business “SmartArntU” made the cut in the senior category while Ava Ahern, Laura Brennan, Kayla McAuliffe’s business “Mela No More” excelled in the intermediate category.

Mike O’Byrne of LEO Limerick said the programme is a tremendous way to get young people thinking about starting their own business later in life.

“The stronger the pipeline of new entrepreneurs coming through the better for our economy down the line. The skills they learn will stand to them in whatever career they move into after school and college.”

The Student Enterprise Programme also has a new range of online resources at StudentEnterprise.ie, which will feature regular blogs and houses a full range of Student Enterprise resources for students and teachers.

Ava Ahern, Laura Brennan, Kayla McAuliffe from Desmond College, Newcastle West whose business “Mela No More” excelled in the intermediate category