SEP finalists

The national finalists for Ireland’s largest student entrepreneurial programme were announced yesterday ahead of the finals next month.  Over 80 of Ireland’s brightest young entrepreneurial minds will compete in the finals of the Student Enterprise Programme from the 26,000 or so who began their businesses in September.  A selection of the finalists joined Student Enterprise Programme Ambassador and radio and TV star Louise Cantillon in Dublin for the announcement. 

The initiative of the Local Enterprise Offices has seen almost 400,000 secondary school students take part since it began in 2003.  The 81 shortlisted businesses will exhibit at the National Finals on the 9th May in Mullingar where winners will be announced across the three categories of senior, intermediate and junior and one business will be named Student Enterprise of the Year for 2024.  

Michael Nevin, Chair of the Local Enterprise Offices’ Enterprise Education Committee, said; “Year on year we see an amazing spread of businesses from across the country in our National Finals.  The interest in entrepreneurship and the skills that come with it is increasing.  Last year we had one of our biggest participation figures for the programme with over 28,000 taking part.  These students are hugely engaged with the challenges of creating a running a business and not only that but they want to create businesses that will make a difference in the world.  And whatever the finals, and the future, holds for these students these skills will stand by them.”   

The Finalists cover all sectors of business from seaweed harvesting and medical identification to farm safety and portable cranes.  For the programme, each student enterprise is challenged with creating, setting up and running their own business, and must show viable sales of their service or product 

The Student Enterprise Programme is open to students of all ages at senior level, with three separate categories - Junior (1st year), Intermediate (2nd and 3rd year) and Senior (4th, 5th and 6th year, LVA, LCA and Youth Outreach). There are also a number of prizes that recognise achievements across specific categories – including the “Best Business Website”, “Sustainability Award”, the “Smart Business Idea”, the “My Entrepreneurial Journey”, “Finance Award”, “Technology Award” and “Intellectual Property” competitions from previous years.

This year also marks the re-launch of the student workbooks ‘as Gaeilge’, further encouraging participation amongst Gaelscoil students while supporting the promotion of the Irish language.

Last year’s winner of the Student Enterprise Programme were Josh McCormack and Evan McNeil from Roscommon Community College, the founders and designers of “MC Compactors”, a stainless-steel device which enables users to easily compact rubbish in standard wheelie bins. The device works with all standard household wheelie bins, allows users to compress their waste, facilitating greater capacity within the household bin.

The Student Enterprise Programme is funded by the Government of Ireland through Enterprise Ireland and delivered by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices in local authorities throughout the country.  Since the Student Enterprise Programme began in 2003, over 380,000 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 new range of online resources for 2023 / 2024 at, which will feature regular blogs and houses a full range of Student Enterprise resources for students and teachers.    

The Student Enterprise Programme is one of a number of initiatives that the Local Enterprise Offices run, to foster entrepreneurship across the country. Others include Local Enterprise Week, the National Enterprise Awards, National Women’s Enterprise Day and Local Enterprise Showcase. The Local Enterprise Offices in local authorities are funded by the Government of Ireland through Enterprise Ireland.





  • Junior – Grasper – Drumshanbo Vocational School
  • Intermediate – Clip Clop Designs – Moyne Community School
  • Senior – McCompactors – Roscommon Community College



  • Junior – Sew Stylish - Brigid’s College, Callan
  • Intermediate – Earrings by Aoibheann- Loreto College, Dalkey 
  • Senior – Barrelda – St. Patrick’s Classical School, Navan 



  • Junior – Go Green Now – Salerno Secondary School, Galway
  • Intermediate – T-Snappi – Summerhill College, Sligo
  • Senior – Coppercase – St. Macartan’s College, Monaghan



  • Junior – Sofatop – Ballybay Community School, Monaghan
  • Intermediate – Aim It Board – Loreto College, Dublin City
  • Senior – Handy Hose – CBS Thurles, Tipperary



  • Junior – Specrest – Educate Together, Portmarnock
  • Intermediate – Crios Mhadra – Presentation Secondary, Castleisland, Kerry
  • Senior – Smooth Remove – Boherbue Comprehensive, North Cork



  • Junior – Complete Caman – Presentation Secondary School, CastleIsland, Kerry
  • Intermediate – Lift Arm Assist – CBS Kilkenny
  • Senior – Abbey Bread – Cistercian College, Roscrea, Offaly



  • Junior – Daisy’s Pawesome Bowties – Our Lady’s Secondary School, Drogheda
  • Intermediate – Scott Engine Tables - Colaiste Chill Mhantain, Rathnew, Wicklow
  • Senior – ROC Protection – Clonkeen College, Blackrock, Dublin