New Fingal School scoops Top Prize at National Student Enterprise Awards

New Fingal School scoops Top Prize at National Student Enterprise Awards

National SEP Winner Junior Category

Ava Gilmartin from Malahide-Portmarnock Educate Together took the first prize in the Junior category at the National Student Enterprise Programme (SEP) finals in Croke Park. The new school opened its doors just last September in the Riasc Centre and is already a national award-winner!

Organised by the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs), the Student Enterprise Programme is a structured enterprise initiative to help second level students learn business skills through a structured competitive programme. With more than 26,000 students participating from 492 schools nationally, it is by far the biggest and most popular business programme in Ireland, and supported by all Local Authorities and Enterprise Ireland.

2019 has proven to be a particularly good year for student entrepreneurs in Fingal. A record breaking 2,700 students, from 29 schools, participated in the Fingal competition. Scooping the top prize at the National final was the icing on the cake, according to Oisin Geoghegan, Chair of the LEO Network and Head of Enterprise at LEO Fingal:

We had three great finalists at National level, one each in Junior, Intermediate and Senior category. This is an incredibly tight competition and they all did Fingal proud. To emerge with one of the overall National first place prizes was an amazing coup for this brand new Fingal Educate Together School. It is a testament to the students and the great work of their teacher Ms. Bergin, to win this prize in their first year of operation”.

Councillor Anthony Lavin, Mayor of Fingal welcomed the news of the latest Fingal success:

In Fingal we are fortunate to have a dynamic entrepreneurial climate and coupled with our young well educated population we are very well positioned to produce award-winning young entrepreneurs. This is once again reflected in our overall National winner at the Student Enterprise Awards, with the new Malahide-Portmarnock Educate Together school emerging triumphant in their first year in operation!


The three Fingal finalists this year were:

Junior Category (first year): Ava Gilmartin from Malahide-Portmarnock Educate Together with a business called “SpecRest”, which is a device for conveniently storing eyewear.

Intermediate Category (second year): Loreto Balbriggan with their project called “Page Keepers”, a system to help book readers.

Senior Category (transition year): St. Fintan’s High School in Sutton with a business called “Bee Kind”, a topical business set up to enable homeowners to attract bees in turn helping our environment and eco-system by encouraging pollination.

The three main category winners on the National SEP Final  were: ‘Smooth Remove’ from Boherbue Comprehensive School in Mallow, representing LEO Cork North and West (Senior Category Winner), ‘Críos Mhadra’ from Presentation Secondary School in Castleisland, representing LEO Kerry (Intermediate Category Winner), and ‘Specrest’ from Malahide-Portmarnock Educate Together School, representing LEO Fingal (Junior Category Winner).

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 won a place at the residential Business Bootcamp in Delphi Resort, Co. Galway at the beginning of June, to help them further develop their business skills.

The students were presented with their awards on stage by the Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen T.D., Oisin Geoghegan Chair of the LEO Network and Michael Nevin, Chair of the Enterprise Education Committee for the LEOs.

Congratulating this year’s national winners and their schools, Minister Breen said; “These student entrepreneurs are the future of Irish business and job creation across the country. The skills attained by these young students during the Student Enterprise Programme will be invaluable to these young entrepreneurs and provide them with a fantastic foundation for a future in business. Many congratulations to all the students. By making it to Croke Park you have shown you can create and run a business. And congratulations also to their teachers who play such a significant role in sparking and encouraging their entrepreneurial imagination. If these students decide that being an entrepreneur is the path they want to take in their future, I can assure them their Local Enterprise Office will be there to support them every step of the way.

Further information about the next SEP, which begins in September through the LEOs, is available from and by searching #studententerprise on social media.