By Elizabeth Lee
IT LOOKS like the future of entrepreneurship is safe in Ireland if the standard of entries in this year’s Student Enterprise Programme is anything to go by! In a perfect blend of creativity and business savvy, eager teens from all over Co Carlow came up with brilliant ideas for their enterprises as part of their transition year programme.
Students from Tullow Community School and Presentation De La Salle in Bagenalstown scooped the overall prizes in this year’s county final, which was held last Tuesday, 7 March, in the Woodford Dolmen Hotel, Carlow. An estimated 730 students from ten schools locally took part in the annual programme, which is organised and mentored by Carlow Local Enterprise Office.
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, Carlow will be represented by Jamie Noctor, Paul Barrett, Oisin Nolan and Andi Dascalescu of ‘Monarch Gymwear’ from Tullow Community School.
In the ‘My Entrepreneurial Journey’ category open to junior and intermediate students, AJ Dooley of ‘Ent-Game’ from Presentation De La Salle, Bagenalstown will represent Carlow.
Special guests at the County Carlow final included deputies Jennifer Murnane-O’Connor and John McGuinness, leas-cathaoirleach of Carlow County Council Michael Doran, cllr Andrea Dalton, cllr John Pender and Brian O’Farrell, CEO of Carlow County Chamber. Guest speaker for the event was health and fitness expert Nathalie Lennon, with Eimear Ní Bhraonáin of KCLR as MC.
The county has a successful track record in the student enterprise competition. Recent awards won by local secondary schools have included Cian Campion from St Mary’s Knockbeg College, who won a national award for Best Endeavour in last year’s event.
Speaking about the programme, Jim Woods of Local Enterprise Office Carlow said: “We have a very successful Student Enterprise Programme here in Carlow, with over 700 students from ten local schools taking part this year. Our national finalists are excellent ambassadors for the programme and we wish them the very best of luck on Friday 5 May, and we will all hope to be there to support them.”
The awards were presented by leas-cathaoirleach cllr Michael Doran, who said: “I am delighted to present the awards today and on behalf of the elected members of Carlow County Council thank all our teachers for supporting the Student Enterprise Programme and wish the teams from Bagenalstown and Tullow all the best at the national finals in May.”
The Student Enterprise Programme also has new range of online resources for 2022-23 at www.studententerprise.ie, which will feature regular blogs as well as housing a full range of student enterprise resources for students and teachers.
FULL LIST OF WINNERS
My Entrepreneurial Journey Award, intermediate level winner: Ent-Game, AJ Dooley, Presentation De La Salle, Bagenalstown
Presentation College, Carlow: Cover up (Lexie Doogue, Mia Byrne, Kayla Finn and Jan Castells)
Coláiste Eoin: Mix it up (Amanda Hermoso Murphy and Zara Garland)
Tyndall College: Handmade jewellery (Nina Hesselmann, Sophia Hislop, Amelia Szlawoska and Alicia Serrano Grau)
St Leo’s College: St Leo’s Hats (Niamh Raftery, Laura Canning, Lauren Gilmore and Niamh Gilmore)
Presentation De La Salle, Bagenalstown: Beadalicious (Manta Sladkeviciute)
St Mary’s Knockbeg College: Lasevine (Seán Rainey, Cathal Ronan and Fionn O’Raw)
Judges’ Choice Award – an award added because the quality of the entries was so high (€150 Love Carlow voucher): MnM Signs & Design, Borris Vocational School (Ruairí Murphy, Cian Meaney)
Second place: Murphy’s Woodwork, Borris Vocational School – Mosie Murphy
Winner: Monarch Gymwear, Tullow Community School: (Jamie Noctor, Paul Barrett, Oisin Nolan and Andi Dascalescu).