Co-ordinated locally by the Donegal County Enterprise Board, the competition is the largest programme of its kind in the country. 2012 marks the tenth anniversary of the first Student Enterprise Awards National Final and since last September, 16,647 budding entrepreneurs from 387 secondary schools across the country have been researching, setting up and running their own enterprises, with help from their teachers and local Enterprise Boards.
The three student enterprises representing Donegal on April 18th are: ‘Go Hálainn Candles’ from Scoil Mhuire, Buncrana in the Junior Category, ‘Heavenly Scent’, also from Scoil Mhuire in Buncrana in the Intermediate Category, with ‘Collar Me Quick!’ from St. Columba’s College in Stranorlar representing the county in the Senior Category.
On the morning of April 18th, more than 300 finalists from all over the country, including the Donegal finalists, will descend upon GAA Headquarters to set-up enterprise exhibition displays before taking part in a series of judging interviews. Adjudicators mark the budding entrepreneurs on key business areas such as innovation, market research, sales, production, marketing, finances and planning.
Michael Tunney, CEO of the Donegal County Enterprise Board has praised the local student entrepreneurs, saying: “Our local budding entrepreneurs from Donegal have all successfully researched, set up and managed a business over the last year, learning important business and enterprise skills along the way. Their families, communities, schools and teachers can be very proud of what they have achieved as they take on the role of student enterprise ambassadors for the county at this year’s National Final in Croke Park.”
The awards ceremony for the Student Enterprise Awards is also held on April 18th and Senior Category winners will enjoy an educational trip to Italy in September, as part of their prize. Last year’s winner, Tara Haughton, now exports her winning products, the ‘Rosso Solini’ designer-looking soles for high heels, to twenty-two countries including Brazil, the US and Kuwait.
The Chair of the Enterprise Education Committee with the County and City Enterprise Boards, Loman O’ Byrne, said: “Since the first Student Enterprise Awards National Final in 2002, the goal of the Student Enterprise Programme has been to create a more supportive culture for entrepreneurship in Irish classrooms. An enterprising culture in second level today will lead to a more enterprising culture in Irish workplaces and boardrooms in the future, where innovation and business planning skills are to the fore.”
The Student Enterprise Awards programme is run across three categories by the network of County and City Enterprise Boards. Junior Category is for first year students; Intermediate Category is for second years and Junior Certificate students and the Senior Category is for transition year, fifth year, Leaving Cert, LCVP and LCA students. The interactive website for the programme, www.studententerprise.ie, has resources and video tutorials for teachers, students and parents.
Go Halainn Candles: Scoil Mhuire Buncrana: Rachel McGonagle, Caoimhe Murphy, Naomh Kenny, Meg O’Doherty, Emer McLaughlin (top)
Collar Me Quick, St Columba’s, Stranorlar : Robert Lane (below)
Heavenly Scent, Scoil Mhuire Buncrana: Emma Rose Callaghan (bottom)Tags: