Countdown to Croke Park begins for Fingal’s most enterprising students

Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Fingal confirms that winning teenage entrepreneurs from Malahide/Portmarnock, Balbriggan and Sutton will represent Fingal at the National Final of the Student Enterprise Programme (SEP)

Teenage entrepreneurs from three local schools have won a place representing Fingal at the SEP National Finals in Croke Park on Friday, May 3rd.

Every September through LEO Fingal, entrepreneurial secondary school students begin their business journey as they are encouraged to research, set-up and run their own real-world businesses.

The enterprise education initiative delivered by the 31 LEOs in local authorities, is the most successful student enterprise programme of the kind in the country. An estimated 26,000 students from 490 schools around the country begin their entrepreneurial journey every year with the help of their teachers, student enterprise co-ordinators and Local Enterprise Office. Fingal accounted for 2,700 of these students, making the Fingal competition by far the biggest in the country.

The students from 29 Fingal schools were all competing at the County Final on Thursday, 21st March 2019, which was held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Blanchardstown. All students started up their own real-life business in a structured programme where they learned real business management skills.

In the Junior Category, the students that will represent Fingal at the National Finals in Croke Park are from Malahide Portmarnock Educate Together with a business called “SpecRest”, which is a device for conveniently storing eyewear.

In the Intermediate Category, Loreto Balbriggan scooped the top award, with their project called “Page Keepers”, a system to help book readers. The girls will be representing Fingal in Croke Park in Intermediate category.

In the Senior Category of the competition, Fingal will be represented on May 3rd by “Bee Kind” of St. Fintan’s High School in Sutton. This is an innovative business set up to enable homeowners to attract bees which in turn helps our environment and eco-system by encouraging pollination. The winner in the senior category also scoops the grand prize of the coveted two-day educational trip to Barcelona, where the students and teachers will mingle with enterprising Spanish students that are engaged in other EU-funded enterprise development programmes.

SEP 2019 winners

As well as the biggest competition in the country, Fingal also boasts the most generous prize fund, thanks to the sponsors of the programme: One4All Multi-store Gift Cards, The Blanchardstown Shopping Centre and the Dublin and Dun Laoghaire Education & Training Board (DDLETB). Representatives from these sponsors were present on the day announcing the winners: Nicola Roche from One4All presented the Innovation Award (won by Concrete Creations from Blakestown Community School); Niamh Garrahan from Blanchardstown Centre presented the Best Display Award (won by kafoodle Bakery from Loretto Balbriggan), and Aisling Crowley from DDLETB presented the Enterprising School Spirit Award (won by Luttrellstown Community College). Other award winners included the Dragon’s Den Award Comfort Writing from Mount Sackville in Chapelizod; Social Media won by Bobblehats from St. Fintans’ High School in Sutton.

Cllr. Anthony Lavin, Mayor of Fingal spoke about the positive contribution of the SEP to the Fingal Region: “One of the key roles of Fingal County Council is to ensure that our citizens are given every opportunity to be successful, especially the coming generation. Through the Student Enterprise Programme, our students are learning the skills that will help them become more entrepreneurial and contribute positively to their careers” 

Paul Reid, Chief Executive of Fingal County Council added: "The Student Enterprise Programme ensures the next generation of entrepreneurs are given the right supports and encouragement, so they can take an idea from the classroom and develop it into a real-life business. Fingal County Council, through the Local Enterprise Office, actively fosters a strong entrepreneurial culture within the countyleading to the creation of local jobs”.

Oisin Geoghegan, Chair of the LEO Network and Head of Enterprise at LEO Fingal congratulated the students, saying “We have the largest enterprise programme of its kind in Ireland, with 2,700 students from 29 local schools taking part this year. Our national finalists are excellent ambassadors for the programme and we wish them the very best of luck in Croke Park.”

The local students will be competing against hundreds of other student entrepreneurs from all over Ireland in Croke Park at the SEP National Finals on May 3rd

Further information around the SEP is available from and by searching #studententerprise on social media.