Students from Moate Community School and Mercy Secondary School Kilbeggan and represented Westmeath in the Junior and Senior categories at this year’s Student Enterprise Programme National Finals in Croke Park recently.
In the Junior category, the students representing Westmeath at the National Finals were Niamh Noone, Doireann Keena and Lucy Keane from ‘You Rock’ at Moate Community School, while in the senior category of the competition, the county was represented by Aoife Mangan, Lauren Wrafter, Chloe Daly, Lucy Caulfield from ‘Paper4Nature’ at Mercy School Kilbeggan.
There were 82 student businesses in contention across three main categories for the final in what is 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 25,000 students from almost 500 secondary schools across the Country take part.
“Year on year the Student Enterprise Programme continues to showcase the very best of Irish ingenuity and entrepreneurship amongst our secondary school students. This year produced a varied selection of businesses, from agricultural products and homemade gifts to products that were built on our unique ability to tell compelling stories. We see every year that the National Finals are not an end point for our student entrepreneurs, but a steppingstone on the next stage of their entrepreneurial journey. From our class of 22/23 we will see some business leaders and global entrepreneurs of the future emerge,” Christine Charlton, Head of Enterprise in Westmeath County Council, said.
The National Final Students, who competed across the three categories of junior, intermediate, and senior, were all in attendance on the day exhibiting their businesses which were judged by a team of national businesses experts and mentors. 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 included business owners and representatives from enterprise agencies and associated bodies.
The three main category winners on the day were: ‘McCompactors’ from Roscommon Community College, representing Local Enterprise Office Roscommon (Senior Category Winner ), ‘’Clip Clop Designs” from Moyne Community School representing Local Enterprise Office Longford (Intermediate Category Winner ), and ‘Grasper’ from Drumshanbo Vocational School representing Local Enterprise Office Leitrim (Junior Category Winner ).
The Student Enterprise Programme is funded by the Government of Ireland through Enterprise Ireland and delivered by the 31 local enterprise offices in local authorities throughout the Country. Since the Student Enterprise Programme began in 2003, over 350,000 students have taken part, learning key skills on how to create a business idea, start a business, and grow a business.