Countdown to Croke Park begins for Galway’s enterprising students

Teenage entrepreneurs from Dunmore, Inverin and Kinvara will represent Galway at the Student Enterprise Programme national final.

Eleven teenage entrepreneurs from three local schools have won a place representing Galway at the Student Enterprise Programme National Finals in Croke Park on Friday, May 3.

Every September through Local Enterprise Office Galway, entrepreneurial secondary school students begin their business journey as they are encouraged to research, set-up and run their own real-world businesses.

The enterprise education initiative, funded by the Government of Ireland through Enterprise Ireland and delivered by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices in local authorities, is the most successful student enterprise programme of kind in the country. An estimated 26,000 students from 490 schools around the country begin their entrepreneurial journey every year with the help of their teachers, student enterprise co-ordinators and Local Enterprise Office.

The students were all competing at the Galway county final on Thursday, which was held at the Salthill Hotel. Forty teams from schools across the city and county took part.

In the Junior Category, the students representing Galway at the National Finals in Croke Park are: Orla Rose Kilkelly, Nicole Doherty and Sadhbh Breathnach from Food for Thought at Seamount College Kinvara.

In the Intermediate Category, Mark Connolly, Ava Glynn, Cormac Heneghan, Megan Moloney, Chanelle Hardy and Carlos Garzon will be representing the county in Croke Park. Their project, Skitts, saw them develop an outdoor wooden game for schools, community and youth groups.

In the Senior Category of the competition, Galway will be represented on May 3 by Feidhlim Ó Cualáin and Stephen Ó Conghaile from Save the Seas at Coláiste Cholmcille in Inverin. The team has set up a website to sell products which raise awareness of issues including climate change and pollution.

The Best Educator award went to Ann Fallon of Dunmore Community School.

Speaking at the county final, coordinator of Galway’s Student Enterprise Programme Gillian Slattery said they have a very successful student enterprise programme here in Galway, with over 750 students from 24 local schools taking part this year.

“Our national finalists are excellent ambassadors for the programme and we wish them the very best of luck in Croke Park on May 3.

“What our students are learning from the programme is that with the right supports and encouragement, they can take an idea from the classroom and develop it into a real-life business. The skills they learn along the way, such as business planning, market research, selling and team-work, will help them become more entrepreneurial throughout their future careers”.

The local students will be competing against hundreds of other student entrepreneurs from all over Ireland in Croke Park at the Annual Student Enterprise Programme National Finals on May 3. Further information around the Student Enterprise Programme is available from www.studententerprise.ie and by searching #studententerprise on social media.

Galway County winners 2019

Senior 1st Prize: Save the Seas, Colaiste Cholmcille, Inverin

Senior 2nd Prize: Crowvista, Colaiste an Chreagain

Senior 3rd Prize: Banda, Colaiste na Coiribe

Intermediate 1st Prize: Skitts, Dunmore Community School

Junior 1st Prize: Food for Thought, Seamount College Kinvara

Best Social Enterprise: AJA Publishing, Colaiste Mhuire Ballygar

Best Tech Project: Find your Vigor, The Jez

Best Business Plan: Tag Designs, Colaiste Mhuire Ballygar

Best Branding: Halo Health Shots, Dunmore Community School

Best Pitch: GAA Player Boxes, St Mary’s College

Best Display: Jar Cake, Our Lady’s College

Best Educator: Ann Fallon, Dunmore Community School.

Merits: DesMin Best for Pets, Colaiste Mhuire Ballygar

Clarin Candles, Clarin College, Athenry

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