15 years of student enterprise programme celebrated by Local Enterprise Offices in Croke Park
Teenage entrepreneur Cillian Scott from Rathnew, County Wicklow won an award at the Student Enterprise Programme National Finals this week, organised by the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) for secondary schools.
Cillian’s business Scott Engine Tables from Coláiste Chill Mhantáin won the 1st Prize in the Intermediate category, in front of more than 500 guests at the awards ceremony in Croke Park (on Wednesday, May 3rd).
The LEO-run Student Enterprise Programme started in 2003 and more than 150,000 secondary school students have taken part over the last fifteen years, researching and setting up their own businesses.
This year’s Student Enterprise Programme attracted 22,000 student participants from 620 secondary schools around the country. The year-long programme helps each student to gain the skills and practical knowledge of running a real-life business.
In the Senior Category, for students from Transition Year to Leaving Certificate, first place went to ‘ROC Protection’ from Clonkeen College in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, the runner-up prize went to ‘J&S Kitchen Aid’ from Mercy Secondary School in Longford and third place went to ‘Sláinte na n-Óg’ from Colaiste an Spioraid Naoimh in Cork City.
Meanwhile in the Intermediate Category, which is for Second Year and Third Year students, ‘Scott Engine Tables’ from Coláiste Chill Mhantáin in Wicklow won first place, ‘Pocketknow’’ from Coláiste Iosaef in Limerick took the runner-up prize and third place went to ‘Grandparentmemories.com’ from Killorglin Community College in Kerry.
For First Year students in the Junior Category, first place went to ‘Daisy’s Pawesome Bowties’ from Our Lady’s Secondary School in Louth, the runner-up award went to ‘Simply Safer Scents’ from Ramsgrange Community School in Wexford with ‘Bin Belt’ from Moyne Community School in Longford taking third place.
Congratulating this year’s winners and their schools, Minister Breen said: “Entrepreneurship is the backbone of our economy, which is why this Student Enterprise Programme and Awards is so important. Getting students learning about enterprise and providing the opportunity for them to learn by doing, at an early age, lays the foundations for successful entrepreneurship in the future.
I want to pay tribute in particular to the Local Enterprise Offices and to the teachers and management of the participating schools right around the country who have delivered a very successful Programme and Awards for the 15th year running. I am greatly impressed and encouraged by the talent on show at the Student Enterprise Awards, and want to commend all of the students who have taken part in the Programme this year. I would encourage you to keep in touch with your Local Enterprise Office, who are on hand to help you grow your businesses. Heartiest congratulations to all the winners and I’ve no doubt that we are looking at some of Ireland’s leading business leaders of the future!”
A total of 200 teenage entrepreneurs, aged between 13 and 18 and from 77 different enterprises, competed at this year’s National Final, with every county and Local Enterprise Office represented.
Congratulating the local students on their award win, Sheelagh Daly, Head of Enterprise with Local Enterprise Office Wicklow said: “We are delighted that Wicklow has claimed another Student Enterprise Programme National Title, Cillian’s innovative idea has generated such interest throughout this year and we are delighted that his hard work has been acknowledged on the National Stage. The dedication and support of the teachers and school community are key to the continued development and success of the programme and I would like to acknowledge the excellent work that is being done in schools around the county to support Student Enterprise. I would also like to compliment Cillian’s fellow finalists Sadhbh Durston from Coláiste Chroabh Abhainn, Kilcoole and Eoin Kavanagh from Coláiste Bhríde Carnew who also represented Wicklow at the National Awards.”
She added: “2017 is an extra special year for Local Enterprise Offices, schools, teachers and students, as we celebrate fifteen successful years of the student enterprise programme in Ireland. As we look to the future, the curriculum in schools is changing with more of an emphasis on enterprise in the classroom. The Student Enterprise Programme is a natural fit for teachers with new resources and supports available to schools throughout the county.”
Congratulating Cillian on his win Wicklow County Council Chief Executive, Bryan Doyle said “All three Wicklow finalists, Eoin Kavanagh, Sadhbh Durston and Winner Cillian Scott are excellent representatives of a generation of dynamic, confident teens in Wicklow with true entrepreneurial spirit who are not afraid to rise to the challenge of taking an idea and develop it into a successful business. Cillian’s win this year continues Wicklow’s strong tradition of success in the Student Enterprise Programme at National Level with Luke Byrne taking the Senior title for Wicklow in 2016 mirroring Ciara Whooley’s win in that category in 2012. In a county where over 94% of active businesses are classed as micro enterprises with less than 10 employees, it is this strong entrepreneurial culture and can do attitude which will be key to ensure a strong thriving business sector here in the future.”
Thomas McEvoy, Head of Enterprise, LEO Louth delivered the opening address at this year’s ceremony on behalf of the network of Local Enterprise Offices. Some of the past Student Enterprise Award winners, including Luke Byrne of ‘Headphone Helpers’, Ciara Whooley of ‘Irish Baubles’ and Matthew Hewston of ‘Squeazy’ spoke about how the programme boosted their business skills.
Further awards were presented for intellectual property awareness by the Irish Patents Office and for social media by Essential French. Twenty students in the Senior category also win a place at the residential ‘Winners’ Business Bootcamp’ in U.C.C. at the end of May, to help them further develop their business skills.
Further details about the next Student Enterprise Programme, which begins in September, are available through www.studententerprise.ie