The LEO-run Student Enterprise Programme started in 2003 and more than 150,000 secondary school students have taken part over the last fifteen years, researching and setting up their own businesses.
This year’s Student Enterprise Programme attracted 22,000 student participants from 620 secondary schools around the country. The year-long programme helps each student to gain the skills and practical knowledge of running a real-life business.
In the Senior Category, for students from Transition Year to Leaving Certificate, first place went to ‘ROC Protection’ from Clonkeen College in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, the runner-up prize went to ‘J&S Kitchen Aid’ from Mercy Secondary School in Longford and third place went to ‘Sláinte na n-Óg’ from Colaiste an Spioraid Naoimh in Cork City.
Congratulating this year’s winners and their schools, Minister Breen said: “Entrepreneurship is the backbone of our economy, which is why this Student Enterprise Programme and Awards is so important. Getting students learning about enterprise and providing the opportunity for them to learn by doing, at an early age, lays the foundations for successful entrepreneurship in the future.
I want to pay tribute in particular to the Local Enterprise Offices and to the teachers and management of the participating schools right around the country who have delivered a very successful Programme and Awards for the 15th year running. I am greatly impressed and encouraged by the talent on show at the Student Enterprise Awards, and want to commend all of the students who have taken part in the Programme this year. I would encourage you to keep in touch with your Local Enterprise Office, who are on hand to help you grow your businesses. Heartiest congratulations to all the winners and I’ve no doubt that we are looking at some of Ireland’s leading business leaders of the future!”
A total of 200 teenage entrepreneurs, aged between 13 and 18 and from 77 different enterprises, competed at this year’s National Final, with every county and Local Enterprise Office represented.
Congratulating the local students on their award win, Georgina Sweetnam, Head of Enterprise with Local Enterprise Office Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown said:
Well done to Carl Cullen, Ross Byrne and Cormac Spain the student entrepreneurs behind the winning business ROC Protection and to their teacher Enda Sheehy from Clonkeen College who gave them great support throughout the programme.
She added “2017 is an extra special year for Local Enterprise Offices, schools, teachers and students, as we celebrate fifteen successful years of the student enterprise programme in Ireland. As we look to the future, the curriculum in schools is changing with more of an emphasis on enterprise in the classroom. The Student Enterprise Programme is a natural fit for teachers with new resources and supports available to schools throughout the county.”
Further details about the next Student Enterprise Programme, which begins in September, are available through www.studententerprise.ie