Christmas comes early for student winners of Trade Fair

Christmas comes early for student winners of Trade Fair 

Cork Christmas shoppers got the chance to pick up some imaginative locally-produced presents this week as Blackpool Shopping District hosted the annual LEO Cork City Student Enterprise Programm’s Christmas Trade Fair. More than 200 students participated in the event presenting over 40 different business ideas developed and brought to the public by mini-companies formed by the students themselves.

cork city trade fair winners 2019

Students from Colaiste an Sprioraid Naoimh won the Best Overall Company award, beating off stiff competition from 15 other Cork city schools. Judges Joan Walsh from Partnership International, Philip Gillivan, President of Cork Business Association and Joan Lucey, Vibes and Scribes adjudicated on five other categories and presented awards for; Best Display Stand - Ursulines Secondary School, Best Sales Plan - St. Aloysius School, Best Business Idea - St. Angela's School, Best Endeavour - Scoil Mhuire Gan Smál and Best Market Research - Scoil Mhuire Gan Smál.

During the event at Blackpool Shopping District, students were given the opportunity to showcase and put on sale to the public some of the innovative new products and services they have developed as part of the programme, as well as putting into practice their skills in customer relations and promotion. Business ideas ranged from the winning ‘bee hotels’ by Bug & Bee Ltd, horseshoe wine racks from Capall Craft and the colourful tie-dye hats by Ursulines Secondary School.

Speaking at the event Olive Guerin, Assistant Business Advisor, Cork Schools Enterprise Programme, said: “It’s our biggest Christmas Trade Fair to date and we never fail to be amazed by the great new ideas and approach business by the students’ mini-companies. It  gives us great hope for the future of Cork business to see such sharp minds at work and hopefully it will lead to new opportunities for all concerned.”

Mr Gillivan, President of Cork Business Association, revealed that CBA’s involvement will see it provide business mentoring for the overall winners, Colaiste Spioraid Naoimh. “It was fantastic to see first-hand some of the great ideas involved in the Christmas Trade Fair and CBA is delighted to be able to offer some guidance to the students about how to take the next steps in what will hopefully be the beginning of long and fruitful careers in business.”

The Local Enterprise Office Cork City's Schools Enterprise Programme is an enterprise education programme that gives second level students in Cork city the opportunity to set up and run a mini-company over the course of the academic year in order to learn what it’s really like to be an entrepreneur. A range of interactive enterprise activities are organised during the school year to encourage students from 1st – 6th year to learn more about entrepreneurship and what is involved in setting up and running a business. The next event will take place on January 22nd 2019, in UCC with the City final taking place on March 12th 2019. The Programme runs from September to April with high profile national finals taking place in Dublin in May each year.