The Student Enterprise Awards Mini-Company Programme is the biggest enterprise competition for students in Ireland. It helps students to grasp real life skills associated with running a real enterprise including working as part of a team, managing production and finances, organizing a sales and marketing campaign and liaising directly with customers, judges and the media.
Over the 10 years the Enterprise Boards have run this competition we have seen some remarkable success stories with high levels of innovation, ingenuity and clever sales pitches. What is really striking is how confident young people are in presenting their final proposals with many teachers remarking that students often develop self-confidence as they work their way through the different stages of their business. This is particularly true when students are taken out of their normal school environment to deal with external stakeholders who can help them progress their business idea.
The competition compliments the business studies curriculum and is a rewarding experience for transition year students in particular, who have that bit more freedom to develop their business concepts to the fullest.
Introducing enterprise to students in such a relevant fashion can only help to create more entrepreneurs in the future. The Kildare Local Enterprise Office provides significant support to teachers and students involved in the competition and we would encourage all schools to sign up and get their students involved.
The Mini- Company Programme is an incredibly exciting and rewarding programme which provides students the opportunity to set up their own student enterprises and run it exactly like a business. This programme has become a widely used initiative amongst students and has proven to be extremely successful throughout the county.