Clare Teens thinking up a storm with Student Enterprise!

Clare Teens thinking up a storm with Student Enterprise!



Local Enterprise Office Clare is delighted to have launched it’s Student Enterprise Programme for 2023/2024 over 4 student induction days. The 4 induction days in Ennis and Ennistymon introduced over 1,300 students from 17 secondary schools in Clare to the Student Enterprise Programme. Local business people Ollie Gleeson from Ollie’s Tours and Ben Fitzgerald from Totalcare spoke about their entrepreneurial journeys and running successful businesses. They encouraged all students across the County to sign up for this years programme. This year Theresa Mulvihill from Smart Marketing will act as the Student Enterprise Co-ordinator and will support students across the county on their entrepreneurial journey.


Padraic McElwee, Head of Enterprise said “Year on year the Student Enterprise Programme continues to showcase the very best of Irish ingenuity and entrepreneurship amongst our secondary school students. I would encourage students and teachers to engage with the Programme for the academic year. From previous years, the Programme has produced a varied selection of businesses, from agricultural products and homemade gifts to products that were built on our unique ability to tell compelling stories. We see every year that the National Finals are not an end point for our student entrepreneurs, but a stepping stone on the next stage of their entrepreneurial journey.”



Brand Ambassador for this year’s Student Enterprise Programme (SEP) Louise Cantillon, is a Limerick native and former second level school teacher herself. Louise will be encouraging the thousands of participating students this year as they embark on their exciting entrepreneurial journey, creating, setting up and running their own business to compete for the top prize of Student Enterprise of the Year


An initiative of the Local Enterprise Offices of Ireland, the Student Enterprise Programme is the country’s largest enterprise programme for second level students, with this year marking the 22nd year of the hugely successful programme.  Over 25,000 students from approximately 500 second level schools across the country are expected to take part.  


Students from 1st year to 6th year can enter in the Junior, Intermediate and Senior categories.  Participants will learn how to create and run their own business, picking up key skills along the way such as ideation, marketing, finance and sales.


The Programme is run through the network of Local Enterprise Offices, supported by Enterprise Ireland and the Local Authorities, with local coordinators in every area to support teachers and students through the year of the programme, which helps foster entrepreneurship in students and gives them key skills they can bring with them into later life. 


New Ambassador Louise Cantillon is delighted to be partnering with the Student Enterprise Programme for 2023/24 and is looking forward to engaging with the community of teen entrepreneurs to encourage them on their exciting business journey.


Louise says she is particularly excited about the roll-out of the new student workbooks as Gaeilge this year, “I am so excited to be working on the SEP project and learning about all the fantastic businesses these young students are going to be working on this year. The fact that the student workbooks are also being published as Gaeilge this year with thanks to the Irish language agency COGG is fantastic and a great resource for all the gaelscoileanna around the country”.


Last year the winners were MC Compactors from Roscommon in the Senior Category with their business idea - an innovative stainless-steel rubbish compactor.  In the Intermediate category the winner was Clip Clop Designs – a company that upcycled used horse shoes into household ornaments.  The Junior category was won by a group of Leitrim students with their student enterprise Grasper - a lift mechanism to open slatted tank covers on farms.


Since the Student Enterprise Programme began in 2003, over 325,000 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 a new range of online resources for 2023/2024 at, which will feature regular blogs and houses a full range of Student Enterprise resources for students and teachers.