Record number of Student Enterprise Finalists Announced for 2020


Some of Kildare’s most innovative and entrepreneurial students will be eagerly logging online on 27th May for the National Final of the Student Enterprise Programme.  For the first time since the programme began in 2003, the National Finals will take place online and Kildare will be represented by three students from Salesian College Celbridge.


An estimated over 1,500 students from 21 secondary schools across Kildare took part the annual programme this year. The students all took part in the Kildare Final on Thursday 5th of March which was held at the Killashee Hotel.


With winning the Senior Category of the competition, Seán McGivern, Cormac Kelly and Thomás Gannon from The Learning Lads Ltd from Salesian College Celbridge will now be competing against hundreds of other student entrepreneurs from all over Ireland on 27th May at the Annual Student Enterprise Programme National Finals.


Having originally been scheduled to take place in Croke Park on the 1st May, the Local Enterprise Office run awards, will be announced virtually on Wednesday 27th May via live stream on the Student Enterprise Programmes Facebook and YouTube channels.


Kildare has a successful record in the Student Enterprise competition, with students from St.Mary’s College in Naas winning Overall Third Place in the Senior Category at the National Finals in Croke Park last year and Kilcock students winning an award at the National Finals in 2017.


The students and teachers from across the country will watch along online to the event hosted by RTE’s Rick O’Shea and will be joined during the ceremony by previous winners and Student Entrepreneur Programme Ambassador, Josh Van Der Flier.  The rugby star previously took part in the initiative when he was a student at Wesley College in Dublin.


The Finalists have been announced this year with a record number of 85 student enterprises competing in Ireland’s largest entrepreneurship programme for second level students. The initiative, funded by the Government of Ireland through Enterprise Ireland and delivered by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices in local authorities throughout the country, close to 26,000 students from almost 500 secondary schools across the country take part.


Some of the finalists this year include an alarm that helps wake small children who can sleep through regular high frequency alarms, eco-friendly products such as beeswax film, an alternative to clingfilm, a bottle stopper to help prevent drinks tampering, germination balls that can be thrown on soil to help generate new wildlife, and stress hampers filled with stress relieving products. 


Jacqui McNabb, Head of Enterprise Kildare County Council said; “As a programme we are lucky in that much of the work that students were doing in relation to their Student Enterprises was done well before this pandemic broke out.  So, there is no reduction in the quality of entries, if anything we have bigger final this year and some outstanding entries.  Looking through the Finalists you can see that students are more conscientious than ever when it comes to solving problems they see in everyday life, affecting the environment and the people around them.  It’s encouraging to see the focus that the next generation are putting on making the world a better place and irrespective of who wins, we will see some great student businesses coming from this.”  

Full details of all this year’s 85 national finalists are available on the Student Enterprise Programme website at

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

Overall County Winner, The Learning Lads Ltd, Salesian College, Celbridge

 Overall County Winners, Seán McGivern, Cormac Kelly and Thomás Gannon from ‘The Learning Lads Ltd’, Salesian College, Celbridge

Names of winning enterprises in Kildare Student Enterprise Programme:


Category   Winners

Enterprise   Name

School Name

Overall County Winner

The Learning   Lads Ltd

Salesian   College, Celbridge

2nd Place County Winner


Newbridge   College

3rd Place County Winner

Well Lad

Cross &   Passion College, Kilcullen

Exhibition/Stand Winner


Newbridge   College

KCC Special Merit Award

Crazy Coins

Scoil Mhuire,   Clane

Product/Service Winner

Little   Book, Big Issues

Finance Winner


Business Report Winner

Always   Be Kind

Sales Winner

Well Lad

Cross &   Passion College, Kilcullen

Innovation Winner

Defence 1st

Ardscoil na   Tríonóide

Marketing Winner

Cherryville   Candy

Ardscoil Rath   Iomgháin