Local student wins Enterprise Award at National Final

Local student wins Enterprise Award at National Final

15 years of student enterprise programme celebrated by Local Enterprise Offices in Croke Park

Teenage entrepreneur from Fingal has won an award at the Student Enterprise Programme National Finals this week, organised by the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) for secondary schools.

Aoife Ni Chuanaigh with her amazing book "Make Every Step Count", from Colaiste Ghlor na Mara won the Merit Prize in the Intermediate category, in front of more than 500 guests at the awards ceremony in Croke Park (on Wednesday, May 3rd).


The LEO-run Student Enterprise Programme started in 2003 and more than 150,000 secondary school students have taken part over the last fifteen years, researching and setting up their own businesses.


This year’s Student Enterprise Programme attracted 22,000 student participants from 620 secondary schools around the country. The year-long programme helps each student to gain the skills and practical knowledge of running a real-life business.

A total of 200 teenage entrepreneurs, aged between 13 and 18 and from 77 different enterprises, competed at this year’s National Final, with every county and Local Enterprise Office represented.

Congratulating the local students on their award win, Oisin Geoghegan, Head of Enterprise with Fingal County Council said: “I am delighted that once again one of our Fingal schools has been recognised with a National award this year. We had three great entrants this year and they all did exceptionally well at the judging process at National level. Fingal continues to lead the way in the national Student Enterprise Programme with over 2,200 secondary students participating this year, from 24 schools".

MESC_Oisin_Paul and Eithne

Oisin added: “2017 is an extra special year for Local Enterprise Offices, schools, teachers and students, as we celebrate fifteen successful years of the student enterprise programme in Ireland. As we look to the future, the curriculum in schools is changing with more of an emphasis on enterprise in the classroom. The Student Enterprise Programme is a natural fit for teachers with new resources and supports available to schools throughout the county.”

Thomas McEvoy, Head of Enterprise, LEO Louth delivered the opening address at this year’s ceremony on behalf of the network of Local Enterprise Offices. Some of the past Student Enterprise Award winners, including Luke Byrne of ‘Headphone Helpers’, Ciara Whooley of ‘Irish Baubles’ and Matthew Hewston of ‘Squeazy’ spoke about how the programme boosted their business skills.

Further awards were presented for intellectual property awareness by the Irish Patents Office and for social media by Essential French. Twenty students in the Senior category also win a place at the residential ‘Winners’ Business Bootcamp’ in U.C.C. at the end of May, to help them further develop their business skills.

Further details about the next Student Enterprise Programme, which begins in September, are available through www.studententerprise.ie