Limerick County Final 2024


Desmond College innovators leading Limerick to Student Enterprise Programme National Finals


Local Enterprise Office Limerick has announced that teenage entrepreneurs from Desmond College will represent Limerick at this year’s Student Enterprise Programme National Finals. The students all took part in the 2024 Limerick Student Enterprise Awards Final on March 14, 2024 which was held at the Castletroy Park Hotel.


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 including LEO Limerick supports students to create, design and market their own business, all with the hope of reaching the National Finals.


The event hosted a display of creativity and determination as secondary school students from across Limerick city and county brought their products to the public. Mike Cantwell, Limerick Enterprise Office, emphasised the significance of the event, telling I Love Limerick, "Today is probably the pinnacle of our year's events. The winners here will go on to represent Limerick in the all-Ireland finals, and we have a very good track record in that."


Mr Cantwell explained the event, "gives us a sign poster of the next generation of entrepreneurs for the future." Speaking about the participants and winners, he said, "We're immensely proud of what they've achieved and of what they've brought here today, the products they've developed. Certainly for me as Head of Enterprise here in Limerick, I'm immensely proud of what they've achieved."


Limerick winners included awards for Innovation, Best Marketing, Best Business Plan, Sustainability, Best Display and a Teachers Award. 


In the Junior Category, the students representing Limerick at the National Finals are Gaelcholáiste Uí Chonba with their product 'Baile Do Bheacha', a small shelter for bees. 

In the Intermediate Category, TP Decals from Choláiste Chiarán who created stickers and number plates and will represent Limerick in Mullingar at the National finals.


In the Senior Category of the competition, and overall Limerick heat winners, Desmond College's Des Tech who created a non toxic chemical hand warmer and will be representing Limerick on the national stage. Speaking about their non-toxic chemical hand warmers, Des Tech, the Desmond College students said, "It's the same chemical used in Salt and Vinegar Taytos, so it's non-toxic and safe to touch. We created it because we were at the Student Enterprise Competition last year at the Milk Market, and our biggest memory from that day was how cold we were. We decided to create something that would help us solve that problem so we came up with Des Tech."    Special guests at the Limerick Final included Food Business Owner and TV Chef, Eoin Sheehan who was one of the judges for the event, he said, "The standard was amazing. We're really happy with the top three picks and we think they'll represent Limerick and the Midwest really, really well when they go forward to the Nationals."

Speaking at the county final, Mike Cantwell highlighted the importance of introducing entrepreneurship to students early on, saying, "Ultimately, why we're involved in second-level enterprise is to put entrepreneurship front and centre in front of these students so they think about enterprise as a possible career option going forward. They will go onto third level, they will get qualifications, they may get jobs and travel. 


"When they put all that together and they come back to the foundation they get here through these events, starting a business then becomes an option and a reality for them."


Mike O’Byrne, Business Advisor with the Local Enterprise Office, Limerick spoke about how he was "extremely proud" of the winners and all participants, he said, "I've seen them at earlier times during the year, and to see how their projects have come from that early initial idea stage to where it was today, it's a pleasure. Massive credit to all of them and the work they put into it."

  The local students will be competing against hundreds of other student entrepreneurs from all over Ireland at the Student Enterprise Programme National Finals, taking place at the Mullingar Park Hotel, Co. Westmeath on May 9th, 2024. Since the Student Enterprise Programme began in 2003, over 350,000 students have taken part, learning key skills on how to create a business idea, start a business and grow a business.