New Supports for County Clare Teenage Inventors and Entrepreneurs

Press Release                                                                                Thursday, December 8th 2016


Minister Breen launches new teacher resources, developed by Local Enterprise Offices, to support next generation of entrepreneurs in County Clare.

The Minister for Employment and Small Business, Pat Breen T.D., has launched new teacher resources, developed by the Local Enterprise Offices,Student Enterprise support launch that will support over 20,000 secondary school students taking part in the Student Enterprise Programme, including those in County Clare.

Organised and run by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices, the year-round Student Enterprise Programme is the biggest enterprise education initiative of its kind in the country with students from 620 schools taking part every year across three categories. Local Enterprise Office Clare runs the programme locally, which involves 900 students from 17 secondary schools.

The new resources, which include a teachers’ manual, student workbook and helpful tips from successful entrepreneurs, were launched this week by Minister Breen when he visited the school of Luke Byrne, the 17-year-old inventor behind ‘Headphone Helpers.’

Byrne is a student at Coláiste Chraobh Abhann in Wicklow and he won the Senior Category at the National Student Enterprise Awards earlier this year in Croke Park for his invention of a silicone band to keep earphones tangle-free.

Minister Breen said: “Entrepreneurship is the backbone of our economy and starting to embed this culture at an early age is extremely important. This programme, and the new resources that are being launched today, ensures that entrepreneurship becomes a natural option for our young people as they discover their passions. We want to nurture Ireland’s future entrepreneurs and business leaders. It is great to see both teachers and entrepreneurs coming together to ensure that this solid base is built into our schools”.

Padraic McElwee, Head of Enterprise with Local Enterprise Office Clare said: “The success of the local Student Enterprise Programme, which is now in its fourteenth year, is that it brings the world of enterprise and education together at grassroots level. The new resource packs were designed with the help of both teachers and entrepreneurs, to support and encourage the next generation of entrepreneurs. Thanks to the active participation of many schools, principals and teachers throughout the county, the Student Enterprise Programme enables local students to explore the world of business, starting in the classroom.”

Student Enterprise support launch groupAt the 2015/2016 National Final of the Student Enterprise Programme in April this year, the Junior Category winners were from St. Oliver Post Primary School in County Meath. Their winning invention was called ‘Amor,’ a modified stirrup tread for horse-riding. The Intermediate Category, which is open to second and third year students, was won by ‘Inish Wood Working’ from Scoil Mhuire Buncrana from County Donegal for their hand-crafted giftware.

Teacher resource packs are available to secondary schools, free of charge, on USB key from Local Enterprise Offices and through the website.

At the launch this week in Coláiste Chraobh Abhann, Minister Breen was welcomed to the school by its Principal, Shane Eivers , Business Co-Ordinator, Ruairí Farrell, members of the Board of Management along with representatives from the Local Enterprise Offices, the Local Authorities and Enterprise Ireland. The Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture, Andrew Doyle, also attended.