Local student wins enterprise award at National Final

Teenage entrepreneur Zach Dolan from Leitrim has won an award at the Student Enterprise Programme National Finals this week, organised by the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) for secondary schools.

Happy Homework Hut from Carrigallen Vocational School won the Innovation prize in the Junior category, in front of more than 500 guests at the awards ceremony in Croke Park (on Wednesday, May 3rd).

The LEO-run Student Enterprise Programme started in 2003 and more than 150,000 secondary school students have taken part over the last fifteen years, researching and setting up their own businesses.

This year’s Student Enterprise Programme attracted 22,000 student participants from 620 secondary schools around the country. The year-long programme helps each student to gain the skills and practical knowledge of running a real-life business.

In the Senior Category, for students from Transition Year to Leaving Certificate, first place went to ‘ROC Protection’ from Clonkeen College in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, the runner-up prize went to ‘J&S Kitchen Aid’ from Mercy Secondary School in Longford and third place went to ‘Sláinte na n-Óg’ from Colaiste an Spioraid Naoimh in Cork City.

Meanwhile in the Intermediate Category, which is for Second Year and Third Year students, ‘Scott Engine Tables’ from Coláiste Chill Mhantáin in Wicklow won first place, ‘Pocketknow’’ from Coláiste Iosaef in Limerick took the runner-up prize and third place went to ‘Grandparentmemories.com’ from Killorglin Community College in Kerry.

For First Year students in the Junior Category, first place went to ‘Daisy’s Pawesome Bowties’ from Our Lady’s Secondary School in Louth, the runner-up award went to ‘Simply Safer Scents’ from Ramsgrange Community School in Wexford with ‘Bin Belt’ from Moyne Community School in Longford taking third place.

Congratulating this year’s winners and their schools, Minister Breen said: “Entrepreneurship is the backbone of our economy, which is why this Student Enterprise Programme and Awards is so important. Getting students learning about enterprise and providing the opportunity for them to learn by doing, at an early age, lays the foundations for successful entrepreneurship in the future.

I want to pay tribute in particular to the Local Enterprise Offices and to the teachers and management of the participating schools right around the country who have delivered a very successful Programme and Awards for the 15th year running. I am greatly impressed and encouraged by the talent on show at the Student Enterprise Awards, and want to commend all of the students who have taken part in the Programme this year. I would encourage you to keep in touch with your Local Enterprise Office, who are on hand to help you grow your businesses. Heartiest congratulations to all the winners and I’ve no doubt that we are looking at some of Ireland’s leading business leaders of the future!”

A total of 200 teenage entrepreneurs, aged between 13 and 18 and from 77 different enterprises, competed at this year’s National Final, with every county and Local Enterprise Office represented.

Congratulating the local students on their award win, Joe Lowe, Head of Enterprise with Local Enterprise Office Leitrim said: “participating students in all categories put a lot of hard work into the competition and it is fantastic to see this rewarded with a national prize, I would like to acknowledge all participating groups and thank them aswell as their teachers for all their efforts this year. Well done to Zach Dolan, 1st Year student from Carrigallen Vocational School on winning the Innovation prize in his category.

He added: “2017 is an extra special year for Local Enterprise Offices, schools, teachers and students, as we celebrate fifteen successful years of the student enterprise programme in Ireland. As we look to the future, the curriculum in schools is changing with more of an emphasis on enterprise in the classroom. The Student Enterprise Programme is a natural fit for teachers with new resources and supports available to schools throughout the county.”

Thomas McEvoy, Head of Enterprise, LEO Louth delivered the opening address at this year’s ceremony on behalf of the network of Local Enterprise Offices. Some of the past Student Enterprise Award winners, including Luke Byrne of ‘Headphone Helpers’, Ciara Whooley of ‘Irish Baubles’ and Matthew Hewston of ‘Squeazy’ spoke about how the programme boosted their business skills.

Further awards were presented for intellectual property awareness by the Irish Patents Office and for social media by Essential French. Twenty students in the Senior category also win a place at the residential ‘Winners’ Business Bootcamp’ in U.C.C. at the end of May, to help them further develop their business skills.

Further details about the next Student Enterprise Programme, which begins in September, are available through www.studententerprise.ie

 

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