Mayo students are the business!

Wristcrafts from Gaelcholáiste Chomáin, Ros Dumhach and Simply Achill from Coláiste Pobail , Achill were acclaimed as joint winners of the Údarás na Gaeltachta – Company of the Year Regional Final, which was held in Arás Inis Gluaire, Belmullet recently. 150 Students from five secondary schools in the Gaeltacht region in Mayo competed in final, showcasing a range of innovative business ideas, which were created by the young entrepreneurs.

Wristcrafts created signs and candle holders from bog oak, wristbands and also designed hand-made metal products and achieved excellent sales of each their items. Their team comprised of Jason Ó Déaganaigh, Jack Ó Muirithe, Saoirse Ní Léanacháin. Simply Achill produced a lip balm containing seaweed and beeswax , which was also hand-made and the students really put in a great effort to mastering the production process and produce a quality product. Andrea Ní Ghionntaigh, Micheál Mac Giollabháin and Molly Ní Dhuibhir were the winning team members.

With over 150 Transition Year students taking part in the programme this year, the winners of the Údarás na Gaeltachta - Company of the Year can be regarded as particularly astute entrepreneurs. Alongside Gaelcholáiste Chomáin and Coláiste Pobail, students from Coláiste Muire, Tourmakeady, Coláiste Bhreandáin Naofa, Belmullet and Clochar Na Trocaire, Belmullet also participated in the programme and provided stiff competition with their excellent business ideas.

The Junior Achievement Company Programme is a hands-on business learning experience. The students were guided through their company setup from the idea-generation stage, to production, marketing, sales and finance and culminated with their attendance at the Regional Final. Students created, operated and managed their very own business!

The programme provided them numerous opportunities for the development and reinforcement of important academic and leadership skills, which will be invaluable to them in the future.The emerging entrepreneurs were interviewed by two judges’, Claire Nic Oireachtaigh, Coláiste Uisce and Seán Ó Coisdealbha, Údarás na Gaeltachta and held their nerve to present their business ideas in front of a public audience, which they all came through with flying colours! The judging panel were very impressed with the performance of the students across each element of the competition and had a very tough decision to make.

Ray Fogarty, Junior Achievement Ireland commented “It’s great to see the enthusiasm of the students here today; I really want to thank them for all of their hard work which enabled them to set up a successful business and also their teachers, for providing them with support and guidance when it was needed! Údarás na Gaeltachta have sponsored this programme in Mayo for the first time this year and it has been a great success, as it encourages students to maximize their potential and provides them with both business skills and life skills for their future.”


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