Local Enterprise Office Wicklow have announced that winning teenager entrepreneurs from Dominican College, Coláiste Chraobh Abhann and Loreto Secondary School will represent Wicklow at this year’s Student Enterprise Programme National Finals on Wednesday 18th May.  The Finals return to a physical event this year at The Helix in Dublin having been held online in 2020 and 2021. 

The students all took part in the Wicklow Final on 22nd of March, which was a virtual ceremony. An estimated 865 students from 16 schools took part in the annual programme locally.

The enterprise education 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 over 24,000 students from just under 500 secondary schools across the country take part in 2020 / 2021.  The programme supports students to create, design and market their own business, all with the hope of reaching the National Finals.

In the Junior Category, the students representing Wicklow at the National Finals are: Quillan Byrne, John Turley and Sebastian Anton from the “Ornaments Galore” team at Coláiste Chraobh Abhann.

In the Senior Category of the competition Wicklow will be represented on May 18th by Hannah Traynor, Isabella Ledesma, Clara Roldan and Clara Dunne from “Wood on Fire” at Dominican College.

While in the “Most Creative Business Idea” section open to senior students, Erica Conroy, Melanie Salmon, Sinéad Ivory, Eimear Hardiman of the “Wacky Wires” team from Loreto Secondary School came out on top.      

Special guests at the Wicklow Final included Brian Gleeson, Chief Executive Wicklow County Council, Shay Cullen, Cathaoirleach Wicklow County Council, Caoimhe Doyle, local entrepreneur of the Foley Lab and Annette Rowsome, Senior Development Officer LEO Wicklow. There were also goodwill messages from singer and songwriter Bobbi Arlo and Leinster Rugby Head Coach Leo Cullen.

Wicklow has had success over the years with “Headphone Helpers” from Coláiste Craobh Abhann, Kilcoole,and “Irish Baubles” from St David’s Secondary School in Greystones going on to win the National Award at senior level and “Scott Engine Tables” from Coláiste Chill Mhantain, Rathnew, winning the National Award at intermediate level.

Speaking at the county final, Vibeke Delahunt Head of Enterprise of Local Enterprise Office Wicklow congratulated the students, saying “We have a very successful student enterprise programme here in Wicklowwith over 865 students from 16 local schools taking part this year. Our national finalists are excellent ambassadors for the programme and we wish them the very best of luck on Friday 18th, and we will all hope to be there to support them.  In what has been a particularly challenging couple of years for students the programme has offered them an outlet outside of the usual school demands.  What our students are learning from the programme is that with the right supports and encouragement, they can take an idea from the classroom and develop it into a real-life business. The skills they learn along the way, such as business planning, market research, selling and team-work, will help them become more entrepreneurial throughout their future careers”.

The local students will be competing against hundreds of other student entrepreneurs from all over Ireland at the Student Enterprise Programme National Finals, taking place at the Helix in Dublin on the 18th May. 

Since the Student Enterprise Programme began in 2003, over 300,000 students have taken part, learning key skills on how to create a business idea, start a business and grow a business.  The Student Enterprise Programme also has new range of online resources for 2021 / 2022 at www.StudentEnterprise.ie, which will feature regular blogs and houses a full range of Student Enterprise resources for students and teachers.   

Further information around the Student Enterprise Programme is available from www.studententerprise.ie and by searching #studententerprise on social media.

To see the complete list of County Winners please click HERE