Big Win for Meath Students!

The Local Enterprise Office Student Enterprise Awards took place on 20th April, 2016 in Croke Park.  The top prize in the Junior Category, for first year students, went to 'Amor' from St. Oliver Post Primary School in Oldcastle in County Meath, for their modified stirrup tread for horse-riding to help foot positioning of the horse-rider.  The students involved were
Emily Finegan, Kate O’ Reilly, Ava Caddan and Mary Freeman and they were supported by teachers Ciara McConnell and Ronan Baxter and also Gerry Moan of Constructive Intervention (through LEO Meath.)

Co-ordinated by all 31 Local Enterprise Offices across Ireland, the 14th Annual Student Enterprise Awards National Final saw 201 student entrepreneurs from 69 schools showcase 76 different student enterprises, across Junior, Intermediate and Senior Categories.  A record-breaking 22,000 students from 620 schools took part in the programme this year.
Also representing Co. Meath in the Senior Category were a trio of Transition Year Students, Thea  Clerkin, Grace Foley and Lauren Breslin, under the guidance of teacher, Caroline Mathews from Ashbourne Community School. This business called togl.bags, produces customised utility bags.

LEO Meath would like to offer huge congratulations to both teams on being such great ambassadors for young enterprise in the county.  

The Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Mr.  Damien English T.D., presented the awards on stage in Croke Park, saying: “It is extremely encouraging to see the level of ingenuity and entrepreneurship in action throughout classrooms in Ireland today.  Through the Student Enterprise Awards, the Local Enterprise Offices are supporting more young people to develop practical business experience and it provides students with the opportunity to learn first-hand skills that are vital for securing future growth within the Irish economy.”
 Sean O’Sullivan, Chair of Enterprise Education Committee with the Local Enterprise Offices, praised the work of the students and schools, adding: “What these winning student entrepreneurs have in common is the ability to identify a problem and develop a solution that has real commercial potential. The Student Enterprise Programme was set up to encourage more young people to start a business and to foster a more enterprising culture for start-ups. A record number of students and schools took part in this year’s programme, showing a growing interest in enterprise in the classroom.”

Tomás Hayes from the Network of Local Enterprise Offices delivered the opening address at the ceremony in the Hogan Suite. Last year's Senior Category Winner, Shíofra Ryan of 'An Tionchar’ in Offaly, told guests about her busy year and her negotiations with a potential investor for her new hurling boot.  

The Social Media Awards were supported by Essential French and the Intellectual Property Awareness Awards were supported by the Irish Patents Office. Twenty students with the highest marks in the Senior Category were also offered a place at the week-long ‘Winners Business Bootcamp’, which is running in University College Cork from May 30th to June 4th.
The 2016/2017 Student Enterprise Awards programme starts in September, with full details available at or by searching #studententerprise on social media.
The Local Enterprise Offices are co-funded by the Irish Government and the European Regional Development Fund.