28 Nov 2021

Laois students show their teenage enterprise skill in annual student business awards

Awards: Scoil Chríost Rí team are county champions

student enterprise

Scoil Chríost Rí Portlaoise winners were Emma Fingleton, Aoife Wang, Gabriella Paulo Pindi, Rachel Horan and Arianna Cabellero

Local Enterprise Office Laois has announced that winning teenager entrepreneurs from Scoil Chriost Ri, Portlaoise will represent Laois at this year’s Student Enterprise Programme National Finals.

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 25,000 students from over 500 secondary schools across the country take part in 2018 / 2019.

The programme supports students to create, design and market their own business, all with the hope of reaching the National Finals.

In the Senior Category of the competition, Laois will be represented by Emma Fingleton, Aoife Wang, Gabriella Paulo Pindi, Rachel Horan and Arianna Cabellero- and their business“Twizard” which is the design and production of magic wands. The winning team are students from Scoil Chriost Ri, Portlaoise and their teacher is Ms. Misty Higgins.

With the deferral of the traditional county final due to restrictions imposed for health & safety in relation to Covid-19 the adjudication on the school representatives was based on the business reports submitted by the teams. With over 300 students from 8 local schools participating, the competition was keen with business in new products development, manufacture, climate action solutions and services among many who participated. The schools continue to be innovative and committed to the programme and the skills acquisition in the area of enterprise and self employment as a career choice.

Evelyn Reddin, Head of Enterprise of Local Enterprise Office Laois congratulated the students.

“We have a very successful student enterprise programme here in Laois with over 300 students from 8 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 The National Finals.

“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,” she said.

Unfortunately, due to the current situation with COVID-19, the annual National Student Enterprise Finals event has been cancelled and entries will be judged in an alternative manner. They was a virtual National Student Enterprise Awards 2020 on Wednesday, May 27 at 3pm. 

Further information around the Student Enterprise Programme is available from and by searching #studententerprise on social media.

Eight Laois schools took part this year: Scoil Chriost Rí, St. Mary’s CBS, Heywood Community School, Mountrath Community School, Dunamase College, Portlaoise College, Clonaslee College, Mountmellick CS.

Full list of winners 

Senior Scoil Chriost Rí with Twizard - New Product- Magic Wand- created and designed by the team Emma Fingleton, Aoife Wang, Gabriella Paulo Pindi, Rachel Horan, Arianna Cabellero. Twizard also won the Scoil Chríost Rí school award.

School Award Dunamase College

Dunamase Woodcraft product homemade Christmas decorations. Team: Leah Stanley, Lucy Egan, Abbie Condon Kirwan, Rachel Ni Neill

School Award Mountrath Community School 

Handcraft’d hats, produce handknit hats. Team: Aine Kealy, Vickie Bergin, 

School Award Heywood Community School

TY Hoodies, Retail TY Hoodies. Team: Ellie Smith, Roisin Moore, Niamh McDonald, Molly Hickey.

School Award St Mary’s CBS

Boot Bristles, product to clean boots. Team: Conn Dowling, David Delaney, Peter Naughton, Finn Delaney.

School Award Clonaslee College
Santa’s Snacks, product personalised Christmas plates. Team: Brian Multaney, Niamh Donogher, Caoimhe Kelly.

School Award Mountmellick Community School

WoodU product imitation wooden trains as candle holders. Team: Dylan Thomas, Odhran Davis, Gregory O’Reilly, Maclej Kopijka

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