Four finalists from Donegal competed strongly in this year’s Foróige Youth Entrepreneur of the Year competition.
The competition is a highlight of the Foróige year where the nine youth driven businesses in the country present their achievements to an expert panel of judges.
The competition took place online this year with young people who had completed the NFTE Youth Entrepreneurship Programme taking part in both regional and semi final competitions to be selected as a finalist.
Four of the finalists competing for the prestigious awards hailed from County Donegal.
- Molly Boyd, aged 16, from Scoil Mhuire in Buncrana, Co Donegal
- Emily Mc Nulty, Savanna Timony and Onagh McHugh from Abbey Vocational School, Donegal Town
- Amy McGonigle aged 16 from Carndonagh Community School, Co Donegal
- Eva Loughridge and Anna Harris from Royal and Prior Comprehensive School, Raphoe, Co Donegal
Competing for the title of Foróige Youth Entrepreneur of the Year 2020 was Molly Boyd, aged 16, from Scoil Mhuire in Buncrana, Co Donegal with Inishowen Pens. Molly has created one of a kind wooden pens and personalised pen clips, a unique gift from Inishowen. Inishowen Pens prides itself in being environmentally friendly using only recycled wood sourced in Inishowen.
Emily Mc Nulty, Savanna Timony and Onagh McHugh from Abbey Vocational School in Donegal Town were among the finalists with their brilliant product, Bee Fresh.
Bee Fresh are reusable beeswax wraps which are a sustainable alternative to clingfilm and tinfoil. Their company mission statement is to encourage individuals to cut down on single use plastic waste.
Amy McGonigle aged 16 from Carndonagh Community School was also in the running for this year’s Foróige Youth Entrepreneur of the Year 2020 with her business, Twelve Months of Irish Traditions and Superstitions.
Amy, with the help of her 89 year old grandfather, created a 56-page booklet comprising Twelve Months of Irish Traditions and Superstitions gathered locally. Not just a business venture, this book serves as a great read, a great gift and more importantly a great preservation of our past. With all proceeds being donated to local charities.
Eva Loughridge and Anna Harris from Royal and Prior Comprehensive School were among the nine finalists for Foróige Innovator of the Year 2020.
Their business, Duck and Co, is a wooden duck utensil which enables the steam to release from a pot. Their mission statement was to solve an everyday problem, while being sustainable and aesthetically pleasing.
The winners of both The Foróige Youth Entrepreneur of the Year 2020 and The Foróige Innovator of the Year 2020 were announced last Wednesday (27/04/20) 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”.