Countdown to Croke Park for local students

Enterprising young teenagers from County Wicklow are getting ready to showcase their inventions and real-life businesses at the Student Enterprise Awards National Finals, co-ordinated by Local Enterprise Office Wicklow.

From the 22,000 secondary school students from 620 schools that took part this year, teens from 76 student enterprises have won a place at this year’s National Final in Croke Park on Wednesday April 20th and students from every county across Ireland will be demonstrating their businesses and inventions for the judging panels on the day.

There are two student enterprises representing all schools in the region at the National Final on April 20th. They are: Luke Byrne, Headphone Helpers from Colaiste Chraobh Abhann in Kilcoole, competing in the Senior Category, and Colleen Brohan of Jaconi Crafts from Colaiste Chill Mhantain, competing in the Intermediate Category.

The Student Enterprise Awards Programme is in its 14th year and brings the world of business into the classroom, helping students develop enterprise and management skills. With the support of their schools and the Local Enterprise Offices in the Local Authorities Network, students research, set-up and run their own real-life businesses.

Congratulating the local students and their schools on winning a place at the National Final, Sheelagh Daly the Head of Enterprise with Local Enterprise Office Wicklow said: “We run a very successful and popular Student Enterprise Programme here locally, thanks to the support of many Schools and Teachers in the area. The Student Enterprise Awards give local teenagers a taste of what it’s like to run their own business and to be their own boss. Along the way, the programme helps them develop important entrepreneurship skills, learning about sales, innovation, managing finances and finding new markets. Learning the fundamentals of running a business now, will help them throughout their studies and career. ”

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton T.D. said: “As I have said many times before, we have great entrepreneurs in Ireland but we just don’t have enough of them. That is why at the heart of our jobs plans are measures to encourage more young people to consider starting their own business as a career choice. The Student Enterprise Awards are central to this effort, and is an opportunity to witness the amazing quality of the businesses being established by our students and to celebrate their achievements. These young people are the innovators and the job-creators of tomorrow, and I’d like to wish everyone competing in this year’s competition every success with their business”.

Four years ago, local student Ciara Whooley from St David’s Secondary School in Greystones won the national competition, picking up the most coveted trophy at the National Final for her business, Irish Baubles. Ciara is now studying Marketing in college and still runs her online business today!

Meet Last Year's SEA Winners

The next Student Enterprise Awards programme starts in September, with further details on

The Local Enterprise Office (LEO) is now the ‘first-stop-shop’ State support service for micro and small businesses in the area. The LEO provides advice and direction, covering all government supports and requirements, to anyone who wishes to start or expand a business. The LEO can also provide funding for projects that meet certain criteria, generally with regard to export potential, and other non-financial supports such as training and mentoring. Details on the supports available through the Local Enterprise Office is available through