Brian Dolan, Carmel Coll, LEO, Cllr Finola Armstrong McGuire, Lar Power, CE, Barry McNulty and Eanna Clancy from Spikey Stopper, Claire Gallagher, Carol Philpott and Joe Lowe
Some of Leitrim’s most innovative and entrepreneurial students will be eagerly logging online next week for the National Final of the Student Enterprise Programme.
For the first time since the programme began in 2003, the National Finals will take place online and the region will have three student enterprises involved on behalf of Local Enterprise Office Leitrim
Cable Chompers, Book Worms and Spikey Stoppers from St Clares Comprehensive, Manorhamilton will represent Leitrim in the Junior, Intermediate and Senior Categories respectively.
Joe Lowe, LEO, Cllr Finola Armstrong McGuire , Lar Power, CE, Luchia Smyth, Sophie Brady from Cable Chompers with teacher Claire Gallagher, St Clare's Comprehensive, Manorhamilton
Having originally been scheduled to take place in Croke Park on May 1, the Local Enterprise Office run awards, will be announced virtually on Wednesday, May 27 via live stream on the Student Enterprise Programmes Facebook and YouTube channels.
Leitrim has a proud tradition on the Student Entrepreneur Programme through Local Enterprise Office Leitrim. The students and teachers from across the country will watch the event online which is hosted by RTE’s Rick O’Shea. He will be joined during the ceremony by previous winners and Student Entrepreneur Programme Ambassador, Josh Van Der Flier.
The rugby star previously took part in the initiative when he was a student at Wesley College in Dublin.
The finalists have been announced this year with a record number of 85 student enterprises competing in Ireland’s largest entrepreneurship programme for second level students. The 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 close to 26,000 students from almost 500 secondary schools across the country take part.
Some of the finalists this year include an alarm that helps wake small children who can sleep through regular high frequency alarms, eco-friendly products such as beeswax film, an alternative to clingfilm, a bottle stopper to help prevent drinks tampering, germination balls that can be thrown on soil to help generate new wildlife, and stress hampers filled with stress relieving products.
The national final will see students competing across three categories, Junior, Intermediate and Senior and judging is ongoing virtually with the finalists nationwide via electronic submissions.
Each student enterprise was challenged with creating, setting up and running their own business, which must show sales of their service or product. The judging panel includes business owners and representatives from enterprise agencies and associated bodies.
This year’s programme also saw two new pilot competitions across the Junior, Intermediate and Senior categories. The first, the 'My Entrepreneurial Journey' pilot was run in the Junior and Intermediate cycle and open to any students involved in wider competition. It required them to map out the life of a successful entrepreneur and how that could be achieved.
In the Senior category there was a new 'Go Green: Be Sustainable Creative Business Competition'.
In this new pilot competition students could push their most innovative business ideas via a video pitch, without having to produce a product or service and was open to all senior students taking part in the wider competition.
Cllr Finola Armstrong McGuire, Lar Power, Chief Executive Leitrim County Council, Ellie McMorrow and Aine McLoughlin from Book Worms with teacher Claire Gallagher, St Clares Comprehensive, Manorhamilton