National Award for County Meath Students at Enterprise Finals

Students from Co. Meath have taken four special prizes in the Junior and Senior categories  at this year’s Student Enterprise Programme National Finals.  The Finals of the Local Enterprise Office initiative took place on Friday, 5th May in Croke Park.

Sadie McGarry (300 x 200)Supported by Local Enterprise Office Meath, the winning students were: in the Junior Category, Sadie Mc Garry from Eureka School in Kells  who worked under the guidance of their teacher, Declan Curran.  Their student enterprise was called: Happiness is Handmade Crafts by Sadie, which produced a range of hand-crafted, sustainable wooden table centre pieces.  Sadie not only scooped the Best Display award on the day, but also was awarded a special prize for the Most Creative use of Social Media.  Sadie was also awarded the One to Watch by Anthony Gorman from Anthony’s Reindeer who has featured on RTE Nationwide and sells his wooden reindeer nationwide.  

Senior Team (300 x 200)In the Senior category, Grace O’Donnell and Jada O’Connor, from  Colaiste Pobail Rathcairn were awarded Highly Commended in the Senior category for their business, A Girl’s Guide to Confidence, a special book which the students authored, produced and sold as a 'big sister for big sisters'.  Grace and Jada were guided by their teacher, Shane Mc Gowan. 

There were 82 student businesses in contention across three main categories for the final in what is Ireland’s largest entrepreneurship programme for second level students.  The 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 25,000 students from almost 500 secondary schools across the country take part.


Neale Richmond, T.D., Minister of State for Employment Affairs and Retail Business, who took part in the ceremony, congratulated the students: “Congratulations to everyone who made it to today’s National Finals. With over 25,000 students taking part in this year’s programme, it is a huge achievement to make it to the Finals and shows a real flair for entrepreneurship. Some amazing businesses and entrepreneurs have come from this programme – the majority did not win any prizes but are still running successful businesses today. So, to those of you who won something today, a huge congratulations, but most importantly, to you all, this is the first step on the path, you are the entrepreneurs and business leaders of the future and everyone here today is excited to see what you do next.”    


Joe English, Head of Enterprise said; “Year on year the Student Enterprise Programme continues to showcase the very best of Irish ingenuity and entrepreneurship amongst our secondary school students. This year produced a varied selection of businesses, from agricultural products and homemade gifts to products that were built on our unique ability to tell compelling stories. We see every year that the National Finals are not an end point for our student entrepreneurs, but a stepping stone on the next stage of their entrepreneurial journey. From our class of 22/23 we will see some business leaders and global entrepreneurs of the future emerge.”

 The National Final students, who competed across three categories, Junior, Intermediate and Senior, were all attendance on the day exhibiting their businesses which were judged by a team of national businesses experts and mentors.  Each student enterprise was challenged with creating, setting up and running their own business, which must show sales of their service or product.  The judging panel included business owners and representatives from enterprise agencies and associated bodies. 

The three main category winners on the day were: McCompactors from Roscommon Community College, representing Local Enterprise Office Roscommon (Senior Category Winner), Clip Clop Designs from Moyne Community School representing Local Enterprise Office Longford (Intermediate Category Winner), and Grasper from Drumshanbo Vocational School representing Local Enterprise Office Leitrim (Junior Category Winner).

Last year’s winner of the Student Enterprise Programme were Barrelda - an eco-innovation created by two young farmers from Co. Meath. Barrelda specialise in revamping old, blue polythene drums and recycling them to create meal silos and teat feeders.  The young entrepreneurs have won high praise from eco organisations and farming organisations nationwide for their sustainability focused project which also addresses the rising costs of farming equipment.   

The Student Enterprise Programme is funded by the Government of Ireland through Enterprise Ireland and delivered by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices in local authorities throughout the country.  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.