Ireland’s Enterprising Teens Unveil Real-World Businesses

From lighting up silage trailers to keeping track of missing dogs,  a handful of Ireland’s enterprising teens are gathering at Croke Park today to unveil their businesses ahead of Wednesday’s Student Enterprise Awards National Finals.

The secondary school students are among the 300 enterprising teenagers, who have all won their place at the 13th Annual National Finals, co-ordinated by the Local Enterprise Offices in every county throughout Ireland.

‘Sila Lights’, a lightboard for trailers carrying silage bales, is the brain-child of  a 14 –year-old from Ballyhaunis Community School (representing Local Enterprise Office Mayo) and ‘Neirbro’ a modified GPS tracking system for a dog’s collar, is the work of three teenage boys from St. Declan’s Community College in Kilmacthomas (representing Local Enterprise Office Waterford County).

The ‘Masterguard’ is a new type of mouth guard for people playing contact sports and comes from four teenage girls at Scoil Christ Rí in Portlaoise (representing the Local Enterprise Office Laois). Meanwhile, there are also four teenage girls running ‘School of Sound’ from Tullow Community School, managing local talent show competitions (representing Local Enterprise Office Carlow).

Welcoming the students to Dublin ahead of Wednesday’s National Final, the Chair of the Network of Local Enterprise Offices, Kieran Comerford said that over 17,000 students from 370 secondary schools participated in this year’s programme alone.

He said: “Together, the network of 31 Local Enterprise Offices run the biggest and most successful student enterprise programme in the country. By our calculations, around 100,000 teenagers have now been through the programme since the beginning, helping to foster the next generation of Irish entrepreneurs and job creators.”

Ireland’s Enterprising Teens Unveil Real-World Businesses

The Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Mr. Damien English T.D, is the special guest at Wednesday’s award ceremony. Meanwhile, last year’s Junior Category Winners, ‘Sheep Watch’ from  second year in St.Oliver Post Primary School in County Meath, will also be speaking on Wednesday. Since winning the top category prize last year, the four students have raised over €10,000 through crowd funding and are now developing a prototype for their sheep monitoring collars.

In addition to the prizes across Junior, Intermediate and Senior Categories, there will also be ‘Intellectual Property Awareness’ awards presented by the Irish Patents Office and ‘Social Media’ awards presented by Essential French. The overall prize fund is worth €10,000 and the senior category winners will enjoy an educational visit to the German capital of Berlin.

Further updates around the Student Enterprise Awards are available through or by searching #studententerprise on social media.