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01 Jul 2022

Laois students scoop national awards at big enterprise competition

Laois students scoop national awards at big enterprise competion

Oisin Grundy being presented with his award by An Tánaiste Leo Varadkar

Students from Laois were awarded first place in the Creative Business Idea Video Competition at Junior Cycle Level and second place in the My Entrepreneurial Journey Competition at Intermediate Level at this year’s Student Enterprise Programme National Finals.

Supported by Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Laois, two students from Portlaoise College are amongst this year’s National Final award winners.

Oisin Grundy, outright winner of the Creative Business Idea Video Competition at Junior Cycle Level was presented with his award by An Tánaiste Leo Varadkar at The Helix. Oisin worked under the guidance of his teacher James Harvey from Portlaoise College for his idea ‘Sniff n’Sip’. 

Mosa Hafeez took 2nd place at Intermediate Level in the My Entrepreneurial Journey Competition having worked under the guidance of his teacher, Michelle Duggan, also from Portlaoise College. MORE BELOW PICTURE.

Oisin Grundy, outright winner of the Creative Business Idea Video Competition at Junior Cycle Level and Mosa Hafeez, 2nd place in the Intermediate Level My Entrepreneurial Journey Competition pictured with Linda Meredith, Local Enterprise Office Laois. Picture: Alf Harvey.

Honor Deevy is the Acting Head of Enterprise at Laois LEO.

“Year on year the Student Enterprise Programme continues to showcase the very best of Irish ingenuity and entrepreneurship amongst our secondary school students. This year produced a varied selection of businesses, from agricultural products and homemade gifts to products that were built on our unique ability to tell compelling stories.

"We see every year that the National Finals are not an end point for our student entrepreneurs, but a stepping stone on the next stage of their entrepreneurial journey. From our class of 21/22 we will see some business leaders and global entrepreneurs of the future emerge,” she said. MORE BELOW PICTURE.

Oisin Grundy with from left: Deputy Principal Keith McClearn; Linda Meredith, Local Enterprise Office Laois and Teachers James Harvey and Michelle Duggan. Picture: Alf Harvey.

The Local Enterprise Office initiative finals were held physically for the first time in three years at The Helix in Dublin with Mr  Varadkar and host, RTE’s Rick O’Shea, alongside students and teachers in attendance from all over the country. 

The Student Enterprise Programme initiative is funded by the Government of Ireland through Enterprise Ireland and is delivered by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices in local authorities throughout the country. This year, the programme saw 24,000 students from almost 500 secondary schools across the country take part. MORE BELOW PICTURE.

Mosa Hafeez pictured with from left: Teacher Michelle Duggan, Deputy Principal Keith McClearn; Linda Meredith, Local Enterprise Office Laois and Teacher James Harvey. Picture: Alf Harvey.

The Tánaiste congratulated the students.

“Congratulations, of course, to all the winners and finalists, but also to everyone who took part. To be able to create an idea, turn that idea into a business and to grow that business, is a remarkable skill that will stand to you no matter what you end up doing in your career later in life. In Ireland, we have always shown great fortitude, determination and grit in times of difficulty and if these students are anything to go by, we have not lost that ability - in fact, I’m more positive than ever about the future and the next generation. Special mention to the teachers and parents who helped the students along the way, we will all benefit from your efforts. Please know that for anyone who wants to keep their idea going or has an idea for a business in the future, Government will back you every step of the way.”

The National Final students, who competed across three categories, Junior, Intermediate and Senior, saw judging take place virtually via electronic submissions. In the main competition, each student enterprise was challenged with creating, setting up and running their own business, which must show sales of their service or product. The judging panel included business owners and representatives from enterprise agencies and associated bodies.  

The three main category winners on the day were: ‘Barrelda’ from St. Patrick’s Classical School, Navan, representing Local Enterprise Office Meath (Senior Category Winner), ‘’Earrings by Aoibheann” from Loreto Abbey, Dalkey representing Local Enterprise Office Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown (Intermediate Category Winner), and ‘Sew Stylish’ from St. Brigid’s College, Callan representing Local Enterprise Office Kilkenny (Junior Category Winner).

This year’s Programme also saw the inclusion of two optional competitions across the Junior, Intermediate and Senior categories. The first, “My Entrepreneurial Journey”, was run in the Junior and Intermediate cycle and open to any students involved in wider competition.  It required them to map out the life of a successful entrepreneur and how that could be achieved.  This year’s winners were Andrew Ryan, Coláiste Muire Réalt Na Mara, Crosshaven, Cork in the Junior Section and Ned O’Mara, Coláiste Eamann Rís, Callan, Co. Kilkenny in the Intermediate section. 

In the Senior & Junior categories, there was a “Creative Business Idea” competition, which was open to all students taking part in the wider programme. In this competition, students could push their most innovative business ideas via a video pitch, without having to produce a product or service. The winner in the Senior Category was Heat the Feet, Luis Rauner, Merlin College, Galway.  In the junior category, Oisin Grundy from Portlaoise College walked away with the top prize for his idea ‘Sniff n’Sip’.

Last year the Student Enterprise Programme National Final winners in the Senior category were Coppercase from Macartan’s College in Monaghan, for their antimicrobial copper-lined case for face masks. The Intermediate category was won by T-Snappi from Summerhill College in Sligo, while Go Green Now from Salerno Secondary School in Galway took the Junior category award. 

Since the Student Enterprise Programme began in 2003, over 300,000 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 a new range of online resources for 2021/2022 at www.StudentEnterprise.ie, which will feature regular blogs and houses a full range of Student Enterprise resources for students and teachers.


www.StudentEnterprise.ie

 

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