Countdown to Croke Park begins for Wicklow’s most enterprising students

Wicklow Local Enterprise Office Student Enterprise Programme winners : Overall winners Robert Davey and Shane Browne of the company 'The Chop' from Colaiste Bhríde Carnew with Wicklow Head of Enterprise Vibeke Delahunt

Local Enterprise Office Wicklow confirms that winning teenage entrepreneurs from Kilcoole, Arklow and Carnew will represent county at National Final of Student Enterprise Programme.

Four teenage entrepreneurs from three local schools have won a place representing County Wicklow at the Student Enterprise Programme National Finals in Croke Park on Friday, May 3rd.

Every September through Local Enterprise Office Wicklow, entrepreneurial secondary school students begin their business journey as they are encouraged to research, set-up and run their own real-world businesses.

The enterprise education initiative, funded by the Government of Ireland through Enterprise Ireland and delivered by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices in local authorities, is the most successful student enterprise programme of kind in the country. An estimated 26,000 students from 490 schools around the country begin their entrepreneurial journey every year with the help of their teachers, student enterprise co-ordinators and Local Enterprise Office.

The students were all competing at the Wicklow Final on the 12th March 2019, which was held at the Wicklow County Campus, Clermont House, Rathnew, Co Wicklow. An estimated 120 students from 17 schools took part in the annual programme locally.

Wicklow Local Enterprise Office Student Enterprise Programme winners : Junior winner Holly Eager of ‘Hanmade by Holly’ from Colaiste Chraobh Abhann Kilcoole with Head of Enterprise Vibeke Delahunt

In the Junior Category, the students representing Wicklow at the National Finals in Croke Park are: Holly Eager from Handmade by Holly at Coláiste Chraobh Abhann, Kilcoole.

In the Intermediate Category, Ross Byrne, from The Wood Whisperer at C.B.S. Arklow will be representing the county in Croke Park.

Wicklow Local Enterprise Office Student Enterprise Programme winners : Intermediate winner Ross Byrne, from The Wood Whisperer at C.B.S. Arklow

In the Senior Category of the competition, Wicklow will be represented on May 3rd by Shane Brown and Robert Davey from The Chop at Coláiste Bhríde, Carnew.

Special guests at the Wicklow Final included Wicklow County Council’s Leas Cathaoirleach Irene Winters, Chief Executive Mr Frank Curran, and special guest speaker Kate Dempsey.

The County has a successful track record in the student enterprise competition. Recent awards won by local secondary schools have included the 2016 Senior Winner, Luke Byrne from Headphone Helpers at Cólaiste Chraobh Abhann, Kilcoole and the 2017 Intermediate Winner, Cillian Scott from Scott Engine Tables at Coláiste Chill Mhantáin, Rathnew.

Speaking at the county final, Vibeke Delahunt Head of Enterprise at Local Enterprise Office Wicklow congratulated the students, saying “We have a very successful student enterprise programme here in Wicklow, with over 120 students from 17 local schools taking part this year.

Our national finalists are excellent ambassadors for the programme and we wish them the very best of luck in Croke Park on May 3rd.”

She continued: “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”.

The local students will be competing against hundreds of other student entrepreneurs from all over Ireland in Croke Park at the Annual Student Enterprise Programme National Finals on May 3rd.

Further information around the Student Enterprise Programme is available from www.studententerprise.ie and by searching #studententerprise on social media.

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