St Clare's home to three finalists in Foróige Youth Entrepreneur of the Year 2020

Three projects make the final 9 of the top youth driven businesses in the country

news reporter


news reporter

St Clare's home to three finalists in Foróige Youth Entrepreneur of the Year 2020

Gearoid O Hagan, Cian Treanor and Shea Kelly from St Clare’s Comprehensive School, Manorhamilton

St Clare’s Comprehensive School, Manorhamilton, is home to three of this year’s finalists of the Foróige Youth Entrepreneur of the Year 2020.

The Youth Entrepreneur of the Year competition is a highlight of the Foróige year where the Top nine youth driven businesses in the country, who have participated in the NFTE Youth Entrepreneurship Programme, are invited to present their achievements to an expert panel of Judges. 

The competition took place online this year with young people taking part in both regional and semi final competitions to be selected as a finalist.

Wiktoria Zebrowoska and Eimear Feeney from St Clare’s Comprehensive School (pictured below) were finalists in the Foróige Youth Entrepreneur of the Year 2020, with their business Soaptazia. The youths created unique handcrafted SLS FREE soap bars with vivid and distinct scents. Their idea is to produce affordable yet one of a kind organic soaps that help people with eczema, psoriasis and other skin conditions.

Gearoid O'Hagan, Cian Treanor and Shea Kelly from St Clare’s Comprehensive School competed for this year’s Innovator title with their business SES. SES (‘Source Enhance Sustain’) makes various handmade and unique timber products. The youths aim to only use unwanted timber/old car parts that will only be thrown away or burnt. 

Elle McMorrow and Aine McLoughlin, (pictured below) aged 13 and 14 from St Clare’s Comprehensive School, are the proud owners of Book Worms. Book Worms is a thumb book holder in different sizes and colours.  Their business aims to help book worms like themselves keep pages in a book or magazine held wide open for a more enjoyable reading experience. Book Worms was among the finalists for the Foróige Innovator of the Year 2020.

The winners of both The Foróige Youth Entrepreneur of the Year 2020 and The Foróige  Innovator of the Year 2020 were announced on Wednesday, May 27, via Zoom hosted by leading youth development organisation Foróige. 

Joseph Mannion, aged 15, from Dungarvan, Co. Waterford took the title of Foróige Youth Entrepreneur of the Year 2020, for his business JM Woodwork and Personalised Engraving, a personalised wood craft and engraving service.

Jessica Griffin, aged 18, from the Cork Life Centre, in Cork was the winner of the Foróige Innovator of the Year 2020 with her business, Jessie GH Designs ‘One Piece Missing’. 'One Piece Missing' is a real life comic series to create understanding about what it’s like to have Asperger’s, based on Jessica's lived experience.

Seán Campbell, CEO Foróige said “The NFTE Programme changes the lives of young people by enabling them to develop core skills in business and enterprise, and in doing so, helping them to unlock their individual talents and potential. It puts the career path of 'entrepreneur' firmly in the sights of the young participants and gives them an 'I can and I will' attitude that is quite remarkable. This attitude has enabled these young people to persevere through the past few turbulent months, to continue with the programme and to develop their impressive businesses.

“We have been incredibly fortunate to receive Dormant Accounts funding through the Department of Education and Skills and corporate support from basis.point and JP Morgan  to grow the Foróige NFTE programme.  Over 4,000 young people and 120 Schools and Youth Projects right across the country took part this year and this is something that we are incredibly proud of.

“Against the backdrop of a global pandemic, the young people of NFTE showed their resilience and determination to continue with over 90% of participants continuing with their businesses and completing the programme. 

“The winning groups will also have the thrilling opportunity to represent Ireland at the European Youth Entrepreneur Awards in Vienna in 2021”.

The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) Programme is a world recognised, youth entrepreneurship education and development programme, provided by Foróige in Ireland.  It is affiliated to NFTE International.