Local Enterprise Office Laois have announced that winning teenager entrepreneurs from Mountrath Community School and Portlaoise College will go forward to represent Laois at this year’s Student Enterprise Programme National Finals.

The students all took part in the Laois Final on March 29th, which was held virtually on YouTube and Facebook. 427 students across 7 schools took part in the programme during this academic year.

The winning local students will now compete against approximately 80 student enterprises from all over the country for a place in the Top 15 shortlisted teams to make it to a live event on Wednesday 18th May at The Helix in Dublin.  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.

The 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, saw over 24,000 students from just under 500 secondary schools across the country take part in 2020 / 2021. The programme supports students to create, design and market their own business, all with the hope of reaching the National Finals.

In the Junior Category, the students going forward to represent Laois at the National Finals are James Crean and Valeria Codreono of Sapone Soap from Portlaoise College.

In the Intermediate Category, Oisin Grundy with his business ‘Osite’ from Portlaoise College will be representing the county at the Finals.

In the Senior Category of the competition, Laois will be represented by Raymond Goode and Caelum O'Brien of RC Woodcrafts from Mountrath Community School.

In the “My Entrepreneurial Journey” Competition, Mosa Hafeez will represent Laois in the National Finals at Intermediate level, while in the “Most Creative Business Idea” competition, Oisin Grundy with his business idea ‘Sniff n’ Sip came out on top at Junior Cycle level and Noor Fatima with her business idea ‘The Sweat Zone’ at Senior Cycle level. All of these students are from Portlaoise College. 

Special guests at the Laois County Final included young entrepreneurs, Richard Grimes and Peter Timlin of Pure Clothing; an exciting new sustainable clothing business, and DJ Emma Power, who is blazing a trail in the broadcasting world.

Speaking at the county final, Honor Deevy of Local Enterprise Office Laois congratulated the students, saying “We have a very successful student enterprise programme here in County Laois, with excellent participation across all of the competitions this year. Our national finalists are excellent ambassadors for the programme and we wish them the very best of luck going forward to National Final. In what has been a particularly challenging couple of years for students, the programme has offered them an outlet outside of the usual school demands. What our students are learning from the programme is that with the right supports and encouragement, they can take 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”.

Since the Student Enterprise Programme began in 2003, over 300,000 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 range of online resources available at for students and teachers.   

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