Kodaline announce 2016 Student Enterprise Awards National Final

Members of the Irish rock band set up their first student enterprise as secondary school students, selling music lessons.

Irish rock band Kodaline, who were student entrepreneurs at secondary school, have announced the details for this year’s Student Enterprise Awards National Finals, which take place in Dublin on April 20th.

Co-ordinated by the Local Enterprise Offices in every Local Authority area, the competition is the most successful student enterprise programme of its kind. Two members of Kodaline, lead singer, Steve Garrigan, and lead guitarist, Mark Prendergast, set up their own student enterprise when they were both secondary school students in Swords, selling music lessons. The rock quartet, who have just finished another European Tour, are all past-pupils of participating schools.

Since the programme was launched last September, around 17,000 budding entrepreneurs from 370 secondary schools across the country have been running their own enterprises, with help from their teachers and Local Enterprise Offices.

300 finalists from all over the country will set-up enterprise exhibition displays at the National Finals in Croke Park on Wednesday April 20th before taking part in a series of judging interviews. As well as gaining substantial business experience, there is an impressive prize-fund on offer for the young entrepreneurs.

Speaking about the importance of entrepreneurship in schools, the lead singer of Kodaline, Steve Garrigan, said: “No matter what career you follow later in life, a good understanding of how business works will definitely help you. Setting up a business and selling music classes when we were at secondary school, taught us very important lessons about the world of business and that enterprise education has really stood to us.”

Sean O’ Sullivan, Chair of the Student Enterprise Awards with the Local Enterprise Offices, said: “Kodaline have turned an obvious passion and talent for music, into a globally-successful business and we are very grateful to them for helping to promote student entrepreneurship in this country. The Student Enterprise Awards enable students to take on the world of business and develop an entrepreneurial mind-set, across all industries and sectors. By fostering an enterprising culture in the classroom, the Local Enterprise Offices are working with teachers and schools to help nurture the next generation of entrepreneurs.”

All four members of Kodaline are also past-pupils of participating schools. Kodaline’s Steve Garrigan (lead vocals) and Mark Prendergast (guitar) both went to Cólaiste Choilm in Swords and Vinny May (drums) went to Portmarnock Community School in Fingal. Both schools participate in the Fingal Student Enterprise Awards Programme. Jason Boland (bass guitar) is a former pupil of Kilkenny College, which participates in the Kilkenny Student Enterprise Awards Programme. All three schools have represented their regions at the National Finals of the Student Enterprise Awards.

At last year’s National Finals, 16-year-old Shíofra Ryan from St. Brendan’s Community School in Offaly took the overall Senior Category prize for ‘An Tionchar’, with patent-pending designs on a boot for hurling and camogie players. The Intermediate Category was won by Dara Ward from ‘My GAA Journey’ of Coláiste Eanna C.B.S. in South Dublin. The top prize in the Junior Category meanwhile went to Mary O’ Leary, Eva Fitzgibbon and Ciara Litchfield from ‘Bring a Fairy Home’ at St. Mary’s Secondary School, Charleville in North Cork.

Further information around the National Final on April 20th is available from www.studententerprise.ie and by searching #studententerprise on social media. Kodaline are set to perform in Dublin’s Marlay Park on Friday, July 8th. Tickets are on sale from Ticketmaster outlets nationwide and from www.ticketmaster.ie.


For all media queries, please contact Sarah Bohan at Engage Ireland Tel: 01 427 8388 / Email: office @ engageireland.com

Event Information: Student Enterprise Awards (National Finals)

Co-ordinated by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices across the country, the Student Enterprise Awards are now in their 14th year. The official website address for the programme is www.studententerprise.ie

An estimated 17,000 secondary school students from 370 schools take part in the programme every year and every county is represented.

As part of its remit, the Local Enterprise Offices aim to foster an enterprise culture among students in Ireland. Students usually qualify for the National Final through their School or County Final, through their Local Enterprise Office.

2016 Student Enterprise Awards National Finals at Croke Park Organisers: Local Enterprise Offices in the Local Authorities Network Date: Wednesday, April 20th 2016 Venue: Hogan Suite, Croke Park, Dublin 3


Organised by the Local Enterprise Offices (www.studententerprise.ie)

Senior Category

First Place & Overall Winner (Senior Category)
Winning Business: An Tionchar Supported by Local Enterprise Office: Offaly Description: Impact hurling boot with enhanced ankle support, shock absorbent insole and arch support.
School: St. Brendan’s Community School, Birr, Co. Offaly. Student: Shíofra Ryan Teacher: John Kennedy

Intermediate Category:

First Place & Overall Winner (Intermediate Category)
Winning Business: My GAA Journey Supported by Local Enterprise Office: South Dublin Description: A book that allows young GAA players to track their progress and achievements throughout their sporting career School: Coláiste Eanna C.B.S., Ballyroan, South Dublin. Student: Dara Ward Teacher: Paul Conway

Junior Category:

First Place & Overall Winner (Junior Category)
Winning Business: Bring a Fairy Home Supported by Local Enterprise Office: Cork North and West Description: Design and manufacture of tooth-fairy homes for children, with dental hygiene message
School: St. Mary’s Secondary School, Charleville, North Cork Students: Mary O’Leary, Eva Fitzgibbon and Ciara Litchfield Teacher: Ann Doherty and Ger O’Donovan

About the Local Enterprise Offices:

As part of the ‘first stop shop’ business support model, the Local Enterprise Offices deliver services and support to the micro and small business sectors with the guidance of the Centre of Excellence at Enterprise Ireland under the policy direction of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.