Cork City Schools shine bright at Local Enterprise Office Cork City Christmas Market

Cork City Schools shine bright at Local Enterprise Office Cork City Christmas Market


Schools across City took place in the Local Enterprise Office Cork City Christmas Market on December 6th. With over 300 students taking part, there was an excellent representation of creativity and innovation. Judges on the day were Local Enterprise Office Cork City, Coordinator, Theresa Mulvihill and Jeff McCarthy of Otter Products.


Speaking at Christmas Market, Dr. Niall O’ Keeffe, Head of Enterprise, Local Enterprise Office, Cork City said: “The real test of any business is to be able to sell, the Christmas Trade Fair is an ideal opportunity for the Student Entrepreneurs to utilise the skills learned in the programme to date to test the market. This event has given our students an opportunity to showcase businesses from across a range of sectors including craft, education, social entrepreneurship and technology.

 Cork City Schools shine bright at Local Enterprise Office Cork City Christmas Market

The Christmas Market was open to the general public giving students the opportunity to increase sales of their product/service, as well as helping them learn valuable lessons in customer relations and promotion. 

 Judges commented on the excellent display, with 15 teams standing out. Awards were given to the following;

Queen Beeds – Scoil Mhuire Cork; Flowery Future – Mount Mercy College;  Bee You – Scoil Mhuire gan Smál  Blarney , Ornamental Express – Bishopstown Community College; Prizes:  Best Potential 2022 – Enhance – Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh;  Best Endeavour,  Healthy Hubs, Scoil Mhuire gan Smál Blarney; Best Innovation , Student  Solutions , Mount Mercy College;  Best Market Research,  Gaeilge Nadúrtha , Coláiste an Phiarsigh; Best Sustainable Idea,  Book Bros, Bishopstown Community College; Overall Winner , Nebula with Good to Grow , Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh.

The Student Enterprise Programme has been in operation in Cork City since 2003, as part of the National Student Enterprise Programme. Student across the participating schools take part in idea generation exercises, they produce their products and deliver their services, market their business and sell their products.


Local Enterprise Office Cork City run a number of events during the calendar year which includes a Student Induction Day, held in September, MD’s day in collaboration with Otter Products., held in October, Christmas Market, Business Plan writing workshop held in January and concludes in March with a Cork City final. The City finalist, go on to represent Local Enterprise Cork City at the National final which is held in May annually.

Otter Products have long been supporters of the Local Enterprise Cork City Student Enterprise Programme, they have hosted the MD’s day over the last number of years and feature as a guest judge annually. It was with this in mind that Claire Lyons, General Counsel Emea & Apac,  felt the talent in Cork City deserved an extra special local prize for 2023. Hence, the winners of the Local Enterprise Office Cork City final in 2023 will not only represent their Local Enterprise Office nationally, but they will also travel to Colorado State University with up to 5 team mates and a Teacher for one week to develop their business idea. Following this experience they will have a greater understanding of how to create a better business world, engage with local and global business executives, help them develop leadership skills and of course experience the best of Colorado.  The City Final will take place on Tuesday March 14th at Devere Hall in UCC and a business plan writing day will be held on January 17th at MTU.





Contact Theresa Mulvihill 086 8561827 for more information or


Additional information


Every year around 25,000 students take part from almost 500 schools all across the country, competing in the Junior, Intermediate and Senior categories.  Participants learn how to create and run their own business, picking up key skills along the way such as ideation, marketing, finance and sales and it’s open to all secondary schools.  Recent ambassadors for the programme have included Derval O’Rourke, Josh Van Der Flier and Limerick All-Ireland winner Sean Finn.  


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.  The programme is open to all secondary school students from 1st year through to 6th year.   


Since the Student Enterprise Programme began in 2003, over 300,000 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 2022/2023 at, which will feature regular blogs and houses a full range of Student Enterprise resources for students and teachers.