Young Galway entrepreneurs to represent the county at national level

Jack Losty, Diarmuid O'Fathaigh, Adam Diskin and Sean Hill from Gort Community School were named the senior winners of the Galway County Student Enterprise Awards and will represent Galway at the National Finals in May. Photo: Martina Regan

Jack Losty, Diarmuid O'Fathaigh, Adam Diskin and Sean Hill from Gort Community School were named the senior winners of the Galway County Student Enterprise Awards and will represent Galway at the National Finals in May. Photo: Martina Regan

Local enterprise office Galway has announced that teenage entrepreneurs from Gort and Salthill will represent Galway at this year’s student enterprise programme national finals on Friday May 5. The finals make a return to Croke Park for the first time since 2019.

The students were among 140 who took part in the Galway county final which was recently held at the Clayton Hotel.

The enterprise education 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 more than 25,000 students from 500 secondary schools across the country take part in 2021/2022. The programme supports students to create, design and market their own businesses, all with the hopes of reaching the national finals.

In the junior category, the student representing Galway at the National Finals is Orlaith Connors from Gort Community School, who presented her enterprise, Orlaith’s Derrybrien Honey.

In the intermediate category, Charlie Carroll, Adam Forde. Aaron Keane, Rian Coyle and Jack Nolan from Coláiste Einde in Salthill will be representing the county at the finals with their business, Galway Engravers.

In the senior category, Galway will be represented on May 18 by Thoor Fire Pits, a student enterprise set up by Jack Losty, Diarmuid O’Fathaigh, Adam Diskin and Sean Hill from Gort Community School with the support of their teachers, Marie McNamara and Linda Tubridy.

In the “My Entrepreneurial Journey” category open to junior and intermediate students, Sheena Martyn from Colaiste an Chreagain, Mountbellew will represent Galway in the national finals. A full list of the Galway county winners is available at localenterprise.ie/Galway

This year will see the introduction of three additional categories of optional competitions including – the ‘Best Business Website’ sponsored by .IE, the “Green Go Getter Award” sponsored by the EPA, as well as the “Smart Business Idea” award sponsored by Folens. These three new awards categories are in addition to the ‘My Entrepreneurial Journey’, ‘Social Stars’ and ‘Intellectual Property’ competitions.

Speaking at the county final, Valerie Kelly, acting head of enterprise at Local Enterprise Office Galway, says Galway has a successful student enterprise programme with more than 1,170 students from 30 local schools taking part this year.

“Our national finalists are excellent ambassadors for the programme and we wish them the very best of luck at the national finals in Croke Park on Friday May 5. In what has been a particularly challenging couple of years for students the programme has offered them an outlet outside of the usual school demands.

“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 at the student enterprise programme national finals, taking place at Croke Park in Dublin on May 5.

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. The student enterprise programme also has new range of online resources for 2022/2023 at www.studententerprise.ie, which will feature regular blogs and houses a full range of student enterprise resources for students and teachers.

More information on the student enterprise programme is available from www.studententerprise.ie and by searching #studententerprise on social media.

 

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