Announcement of Student Enterprise Programme County Winners


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Announcement of Student Enterprise Programme County Winners

  This year’s live event will not only be a special one as it’s the first in-person event since 2019, but also as this year marks the 20th anniversary of the Student Enterprise Programme.

This enterprise education initiative, funded by the Government of Ireland through Enterprise Ireland and delivered by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices in local authorities throughout the country, is the most successful and largest programme of its kind.  The programme supports students to create, design and market their own business, all with the hope of reaching the National Finals.  Over 850 students from 14 schools which included Castlecomer Community School, Coláiste Cois Siúire, Coláiste Éamann Rís, Coláiste Mhuire, Coláiste Pobail Osraí, Duiske College, Grennan College, Kilkenny CBS, Kilkenny College, Loreto Secondary School, Presentation Secondary School, Kilkenny Vocational School, St Brigid’s College and St. Kieran’s College took part in this year’s Student Enterprise Programme locally.

In the Junior Category, the student who will represent Kilkenny in the next stages of the competition is Ciara Ryan from “Sew Stylish” at St. Brigid’s College, Callan. Ciara’s business creates uniquely designed multifunctional hair scrunchies with a discrete zip pocket that can be used to hide/store money, lip gloss or keys, but can also still be used to tie your hair up.  In the Intermediate Category, twin brothers Adam and Liam Doyle, from Coláiste Éamann Rís with their painting service business “Twin Painters” will be representing Kilkenny. In the Senior Category of the competition, Kilkenny representatives going forward to the next stages of the competition will be Presentation Secondary School students Aoibhinn Morrissey and Louise Hearne with their business “See Ya later”. They identified a need in the market to develop and sell a natural based tan remover.

In the “My Entrepreneurial Journey” competition whereby students interview and map out the life of an entrepreneur and what is required, Saoirse Walsh from Grennan College won the Junior Category while Ned O’Meara from Coláiste Éamann Rís was awarded the Intermediate Category. Both will go forward to represent Kilkenny at the next stages of their respective competitions. While in the “Most Creative Business Idea” competition, senior level students were asked to asked to come up with an inventive business idea based around the theme of ‘Fitness and Wellbeing Innovations’, Maria Salvans from Loreto Secondary School was announced the winner.

Special guests at the County Final included the Cathaoirleach Cllr Fidelis Doherty, Kilkenny County Council and young entrepreneur Anthony Gorman, Anthony Wooden Crafts along with Una Ryan, Marketing Eye; a member of the judging panel. Speaking at the County Final, Cathaoirleach Cllr Fidelis Doherty congratulated the students, saying “We have a very successful Student Enterprise Programme here in County Kilkenny, with 14 local schools participating in the programme this year. Our national finalists are excellent ambassadors for the programme and we wish them the very best of luck in the next stages of the competition”.  She added “it has been a particularly challenging couple of years for students and this programme has offered students the opportunity of taking an idea from the classroom and develop it into a real-life business. The skills they learn along the way, such as business planning, market research, selling and team-work, will help them become more entrepreneurial throughout their future careers”.

There were also category awards announced; Best Green Business was awarded to “The Bottler” set up by Richard Delaney in Coláiste Éamann Rís; Amy Malone from Presentation Secondary School received the Best Branding Award for her “Tots by Amy” enterprise, while Molly Burke, Molly’s Jewel’s from Coláiste Pobail Osraí received the Best Commercial Potential Award. Special Merit Awards were received by the following student enterprises; Problem Solving was awarded to Simone Nolte, Puppy Pouch from Coláiste Cois Siúire; Teamwork was awarded to Sarah Gilchrist, Rebecca Mahon and Aimee Dunne in Duiske College for their Bake it Easy project; recipients of the Entrepreneurial Spirit Award were Diarmuid Langton and Joe Prendergast with their Agrislurry Ltd business from St. Kieran’s College while Lucy Pringle from Kilkenny College won the Creative Thinking Award for her Wonderful Wooden Wreaths and Ronan Hackett, MHM Clothing from St Kieran’s College received the social enterprise award. 

Watch the county final here:

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