Some of the county’s most enterprising teenagersare ‘counting down’ to the Student Enterprise Programme National Finals on Wednesday, May 2nd in Croke Park.
Starting every September, students across three age categories (Junior, Intermediate and Senior) research, set up, and run their own businesses with the help of their teachers and supports from Local Enterprise Office Laois.
Nationwide, 230 students from 77 different student enterprises have now reached this year’s National Finals, having qualified through school and county finals earlier in the year.
Alice Carew from Mountrath Community School will be representing Laois in the senior category of the National Student Enterprise Awards with her product ‘LULLS’.
Working under the guidance of Rita Moore and Evelyn O’Driscoll from Mountrath Community School, Senior Category Finalist, Alice Carew has developed LULLS , which is a set of wireless headphones product born out of her first-hand experience of seeing children suffering distress from sound sensitivity.
Using the product Lulls, it is of huge help in allowing children to partake in ordinary everyday activities.
Run by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices in every local authority area, the Student Enterprise Programme is the biggest enterprise education initiative of its kind in the country, with 23,600 students taking part every year from 480 second-level schools.
Funding for the programme is provided by the Government of Ireland through Enterprise Ireland, and since it started in 2003, over 150,000 students have now taken part.
Evelyn Reddin, Head of Enterprise with Local Enterprise Office Laois said:
“The National Final in Croke Park is the biggest celebration of secondary school entrepreneurs in the country every year and we want to wish Alice the very best of luck in judging on May 2nd.
Thanks to the support of teachers from over 480 schools, including 7 local schools here in Laois, the Student Enterprise Programme links in with the school curriculum around enterprise in the classroom and really helps students gain skills and practical knowledge of running a real-life business.
The programme also encourages more students to consider entrepreneurship as a future career choice, with Local Enterprise Office Laois on hand to help.”
The special guest at this year’s National Final is the Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen T.D.
Last year’s Senior Category nationally was won by ‘ROC Protection’ from Clonkeen College in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, with a protective base layer for hurling and camogie players.
The 2017 Junior Category winner was Blathnaid Murphy of ‘Daisy’sPawesomeBowties’ from Our Lady’s Secondary School in Louth, and the Intermediate Category winner was Cillian Scott of ‘Scott Engine Tables’ fromColáiste Chill Mhantáin in Wicklow. Further information about the Student Enterprise Programme is available from www.studententerprise.ie, with free resources available for teachers and schools.