Louth's Enterprising Future

There was great excitement this year as we announced the winners of the 2022 Louth Student Enterprise Awards.

Over 900 students from 19 schools across the country participated in this year’s Student Enterprise Programme. A collaboration between Local Enterprise Office Louth and local schools, the programme is delivered by Fionnuala Rogers, Francis Verling, and Colm Finegan.

In this dynamic programme, second level students learn how to develop a business idea and then start and grow their own business. 

Adjudicator in this year’s Senior category Garrett Duffy explained “A fantastic range of ideas and enterprises on show this year made selecting winners across all categories a real challenge. But we are heartened to see so many young people in the county developing their entrepreneurial ideas and skills.”

The Senior category was won by Ronan Tallon and Cillian McCullough of Roci Sports. Students of Ardee Community School, they are supported by their teacher Ms. Joanne Finnegan. Their business is a unique pouch that reduces unwanted odours from sports and kit bags. They will now go forward to represent Louth in the national Student Enterprise competition.

Student Enterprise Programme Co-ordinator Sarah Mallon explains “Providing a simple solution to an everyday problem by developing new product ideas is the essence of this competition. We are constantly amazed by the innovative approach of local students.”  

They will be joined in the national competition by winners of the Intermediate and Junior categories as well as the My Entrepreneurial Journey winner.

Hailing from Our Lady’s College, Greenhills in Drogheda, Saoirse Branigan won the Intermediate category. Her enterprise, Jewellery by Saoirse, offers a range of beautiful hand-crafted jewellery and is supported by her teacher Ms. Michelle Claffey.

Laoise Fogarty of Scoil Uí Mhuirí, Dunleer, supported by her teacher Ms. Martina Farrell, impressed the judges with her enterprise Handmade by Laoise. Her product line of hand-sewn bunting, hairbands and other scrunchies took first place in the Junior category.

Dundalk student Dearbhla McArdle of St. Vincent’s Secondary School was named winner of the My Entrepreneurial Journey Award.  Supported by her teacher Ms. Eimear McCreesh, Dearbhla chronicled what her life would be like as a successful entrepreneur in the future and how she had overcome challenges and obstacles to build her enterprise. The judges were deeply impressed by her piece and she will also proceed to the national competition.

The Louth Student Enterprise winners were announced at an online ceremony was hosted by Greg Fry. They heard special messages of encouragement from Cathaoirleach of Louth County Council Cllr. Pio Smith, Chief Executive Joan Martin and the competition judges.  

The event also featured a special guest appearance by Conor Grimes, Louth GAA star and co-founder of award-winning enterprise Spoonful Botanicals.

Category runners-up were:

  • Ocean Crochet, Lotta Glaeser and Maimuna Keyih of St. Louis Secondary School (Senior)
  • The Crafters, Alana Elmore, Solai Nagappan, Sarah Jane Reilly and Emily Liffey of Dundalk Grammar School (Intermediate)
  • Alignment, Yasmin Milligan of St. Vincent’s Secondary School (Junior)

Category winners included:

  • Innovation Award: TY Podcast, Callum Kavanagh, Donatas Cedrauskas, Gabija Sliuzeviciute & Killian Conlon (Ó Fiaich College)
  • Social Media & Marketing Award: Gem Z, Elizabeth Gillen, Rebecca Bothwell, Niamh McManus & Genevieve Kelly (Bush Post Primary School)
  • Social Enterprise Award: In His Shoes, Conor McGinty, Alex Russell, Cillian Brady, Daragh Clinton & Conor Bennett (St. Mary’s Diocesan School)
  • Sustainability Award: Blooming Wheels, Kayla Kennedy & Holly Caraher (Ardee Community School)
  • Best Video Award: Crafty Designers, Shane McCormack, Joe McGee, Fergal Doherty, Lee Kerr, Amy Rogers, Ellen McArdle, Jai Mehta, Dean Grimes (St. Brigid’s, Dundalk)
  • Best Creative Business Award: King’s Iron Crafts, Alan King (De La Salle College)
  • Environmental Award: Bee & Bee,  Ava McCormack, Maya Chanda, Kate Powderly & Emma Courtney (Ardee Community School)
  • Best Financial Management Award: Evergreen Café, Rose Clarke, Anna Copas, Gracie Hanna, Jing Qi Wu & Chimamanda Kpaduwa (Dundalk Grammar).
  • Creative Business Idea Video Competition: Kate Hoey, Fuzzy Ears (St. Vincent’s Secondary School)

Congratulations also to Mr. Ciaran Roe of St. Mary’s Diocesan School, Drogheda who received the Enterprise Educators Award. Winning this award is testament to his work and dedication in promoting enterprise and entrepreneurship in the school environment.

Louth’s Head of Enterprise Thomas McEvoy concludes, “We wish our 4 finalists the very best of luck as they represent Louth in the national competition and we hope that they will make it through to the final five for the award ceremony in May. Discover more by visiting www.StudentEnterprise.ie and follow the competition using #studententerprise on social media.”

Published: Tuesday, 5th April 2022

Student Enterprise