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CPA Ireland Sponsors New Finance Award

By Blog, Media

CPA Ireland Finance Award


We are delighted to be collaborating this year with The Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland (CPA Ireland) to award one student enterprise at the National Final 2024 with the CPA Ireland Finance Award.

Over the coming weeks, SEP in collaboration with CPA Ireland will be rolling out a range of teaching and learning resources to help our student entrepreneurs with the financial side of running their student enterprises.

From pricing strategies and cashflow, to profit & loss accounts, and writing your financial report – we will cover all the key areas to ensure students’ financials are in tip top shape!!

As Christmas Markets are drawing closer, the resources on pricing strategies will be particularly helpful for students, as in most cases, this will be their first opportunity to make sales of their product/service.

Speaking about the launch of the new CPA Ireland Finance Award, Judith Condell of CPA Ireland said “The financial management skills student entrepreneurs learn while taking part in SEP will stand to them in many ways, both now and into the future. Whether they decide to set up their own business or work in a finance role in industry or practice, the financial & management skills they will learn this year will give them a real competitive edge going forward. We are really looking forward to working with the students and their teachers over the coming months and are very excited to see all this years amazing business ideas!.”

Early in the new year, in the lead up to the County Finals, CPA Ireland will host a live webinar to help students prepare their financials for their Business Report/Enterprise Poster.

Keep an eye on our homepage for further details of when this is taking place!


More information on CPA Ireland available at:

CPA Ireland (@cpaireland) • Instagram photos and videos

CPA Ireland (@CPANews) / X (

CPA Ireland | Dublin | Facebook



Irish Media Star Launches Student Enterprise Programme 2023/24

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Louise Cantillon,  former teacher turned TV and Radio Star, has today launched the 2024 Student Enterprise Programme, Ireland’s largest enterprise competition for second level students.


An initiative of the Local Enterprise Office, the Student Enterprise Programme was created to promote entrepreneurship in second level schools, equipping students with the skills to set up and successfully run their own business. Now in its 22nd year, the programme has proved to be a huge success, with over 350,000 secondary school students taking part since it first began. This year alone, a further 25,000 students are expected to participate.


For the programme, each student enterprise is challenged with creating, setting up and running their own business, and must show viable sales of their service or product. Following county finals later this year, student enterprises from across the country will take part in the national final in Mullingar on Thursday 9th May 2024.


The Student Enterprise Programme is open to students of all ages at senior level, with three separate categories – Junior (1st year), Intermediate (2nd and 3rd year) and Senior (4th, 5th and 6th year, LVA, LCA and Youth Outreach). There are also a number of prizes that recognise achievements across specific categories – including the “Best Business Website”, “Sustainability Award”, the “Smart Business Idea”, the “My Entrepreneurial Journey”, “Finance Award”, “Technology Award” and “Intellectual Property” competitions from previous years.


This year also marks the re-launch of the student workbooks ‘as Gaeilge’, further encouraging participation amongst Gaelscoil students while supporting the promotion of the Irish language.


Last year’s winner of the Student Enterprise Programme were Josh McCormack and Evan McNeil from Roscommon Community College, the founders and designers of “MC Compactors”, a stainless-steel device which enables users to easily compact rubbish in standard wheelie bins. The device works with all standard household wheelie bins, allows users to compress their waste, facilitating greater capacity within the household bin.


Michael Nevin, chair of the Education Enterprise Committee of the Local Enterprise Offices, said; “I am delighted to launch the 2023/2024 Student Enterprise Programme which marks the 22nd year of the hugely successful programme. Each year we are blown away by the creativity and the ingenuity of second level students across the country, and I have no doubt that this year will be no different. The programme is expanding each year, and this year I’m particularly delighted to announce our updated Irish language workbook, which I hope will encourage even more Gaelscoileanna to get involved.”


This year, Gaelgeoir and broadcaster Louise Cantillon will be the programme ambassador. Announcing her role, Louise said:


“I am honoured to have been asked to represent the Student Enterprise Programme as an Ambassador this year, particularly with the new Irish element to the programme! I know first hand how transformative this programme can be for students taking part. I was involved in teaching mini-company when I worked as a teacher earlier in my career and the life skills that students learn on top of the business skills is a real game changer. They come out the other end of this programme with a skillset that will stand to them for life!”


The Student Enterprise Programme is funded by the Government of Ireland through Enterprise Ireland and delivered by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices in local authorities throughout the country. Last year’s competition saw over 25,000 students from approximately 500 secondary schools across the country take part in 2022/2023.





For further information:

Declan Lee – Enterprise Ireland – 087 695 7451 /

Deirdre Sheahan – Drury – 085 744 2242 / Deirdre/

Rachel Kilbane – Drury – 083 339 8587 /





  • Junior – Grasper, Drumshanbo Vocational School
  • Intermediate – Clip Clop Designs, Moyne Community School
  • Senior – MC Compactors, Roscommon Community College


  • Junior – Sew Stylish – Brigid’s College, Callan
  • Intermediate – Earrings by Aoibheann- Loreto College, Dalkey
  • Senior – Barrelda – St. Patrick’s Classical School, Navan


  • Junior – Go Green Now – Salerno Secondary School, Galway
  • Intermediate – T-Snappi – Summerhill College, Sligo
  • Senior – Coppercase – St. Macartan’s College, Monaghan



  • Junior – Sofatop – Ballybay Community School, Monaghan
  • Intermediate – Aim It Board – Loreto College, Dublin City
  • Senior – Handy Hose – CBS Thurles, Tipperary



  • Junior – Specrest – Educate Together, Portmarnock
  • Intermediate – Crios Mhadra – Presentation Secondary, Castleisland, Kerry
  • Senior – Smooth Remove – Boherbue Comprehensive, North Cork



  • Junior – Complete Caman – Presentation Secondary School, CastleIsland, Kerry
  • Intermediate – Lift Arm Assist – CBS Kilkenny
  • Senior – Abbey Bread – Cistercian College, Roscrea, Offaly



  • Junior – Daisy’s Pawesome Bowties – Our Lady’s Secondary School, Drogheda
  • Intermediate – Scott Engine Tables – Colaiste Chill Mhantain, Rathnew, Wicklow
  • Senior – ROC Protection – Clonkeen College, Blackrock, Dublin



New Student Workbook ‘as Gaeilge’ Now Available Online

By Blog, Media

New Student Workbook ‘as Gaeilge’ Now Available Online

An all-new interactive student workbook as Gaeilge is now available online at under our ‘Resources’ section. The new resource for gaeilscoileanna has been kindly translated by An Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta & Gaelscolaiochta (COGG).

The new Irish resource is a mirror version of our hugely popular English workbook, covering everything from idea generation and team work to production, marketing and preparing your financials.


Taifead Foghlama an Scoláire                            Taifead Foghlama an Scoláire
(Sinsearach)                                                           (Sóisearach)

And The Winners Are …

By Blog

2023 National Final Winners

1st Place Senior CategoryMC CompactorsRoscommon Community College
1st Place Intermediate CategoryClip Clop DesignsMoyne Community School Longford
1st Place Junior CategoryGrasperDrumbshanbo Vocational School, Leitrim
2nd Place Senior CategoryColaiste Muire Student IDsColaiste Muire, Cobh, Cork
2nd Place Intermediate CategoryPremier WoodworkingCBS Thurles, Tipperary
2nd Place Junior CategoryOrlaiths Derrybrien HoneyGort Community School, Galway
3rd Place Senior CategoryHurlrHeywood Community School, Laois
3rd Place Intermediate CategoryHD Horseshoe DesignSt. Kieran's College, Kilkenny
3rd Place Junior CategoryClochai CneastaCastleisland Community College, Kerry
Best Business WebsiteMonarch GymwearTullow Community School, Carlow
Green Go-Getter AwardGood2GrowColaiste an Spioraid Naoimh, Cork
IP Award SeniorMC CompactorsRoscommon Community College
IP Award IntermediateChopping AwaySt Nathys College, Roscommon
IP Award JuniorOdhran's Hen HousesSt. Louis Secondary School, Kiltimagh, Mayo
Folens SMART Business Award (Senior)Tomas Mc GrathPresentation College, Athenry
Folens SMART Business Award (Junior)Shanon Mc ClenaghanOur Lady's Secondary School, Monaghan
Most Interactive Business on Social MediaMC CompactorsRoscommon Community College
Most Creative Use of Social MediaHappiness Is HandmadeEureka Secondary School, Kells, Meath
Most Effective Social Media CampaignGrasper Handle With HeartsDrumshanbo Vocational School, Leitrim
MEJ Junior 3rd PlaceRuth O'SullivanColaiste Abhainn Ri, Kilkenny
MEJ Junior 2nd PlaceAoife O'NeillOur Lady's Secondary School, Castleblayney
MEJ Junior 1st PlaceRian O'KeeffeColaiste Dun an Iascaigh, Tipperary
MEJ Intermediate 3rd PlaceSinead RyanTullamore College, Offaly
MEJ Intermediate 2nd PlaceDarragh LyonsColaiste Abhainn Ri, Kilkenny
MEJ Intermediate 1st PlaceJoshua Mc GahonBeech Hill College, Monaghan
Best Display Stand Junior CategoryHappiness Is HandmadeEureka Secondary School, Kells
Best Display Stand Intermediate CategoryModern PosturePresentation Secondary School, Castleisland
Best Display Stand Senior CategoryTyred DogsScoil Mhuire & Padraig, Swinford, Mayo
Best Commercial Potential Junior CategoryDr. InkCastleknock College, Fingal
Best Commercial Potential Intermediate CategoryGalway EngravingColaiste Einde, Galway
Best Commercial Potential Senior CategoryPhone KosieUrsuline Secondary School, Tipperary
Special Merit Award Junior CategoryWest Clare CookbookSt. Joseph's Secondary School, Spanish Point, Clare
Special Merit Award Intermediate CategoryPositive PotsRamsgrange Community School, Wexford
Special Merit Award Senior CategoryA Girls' Guide To ConfidenceColaiste Pobail Rath Chairn, Meath
Special Merit Award Senior CategoryCru CapaillKillina Presentation Secondary School, Offaly



It’s never too late to go green!

By Blog, Media

It’s never too late to go green!

Green go getter awardWith County Finals fastly approaching, approximately 24,000 students from around the country are well into their student enterprise journey at this stage. Hopefully many of you will have either come up with a product or service with a sustainability element or have built sustainability into the day-to-day running of your business.

If not, don’t worry … remember it’s never too late to Go Green!

Here are our Top 10 Tips for ensuring your student enterprise is embracing sustainability (both in product and processes) and that you are doing your bit to drive innovation while respecting the natural resources of the future:

Top 10 tips:

  1. Recycle boxes, bags, wrapping paper and jars etc. for packaging your products
  2. Reduce your use of artificial light and use daylight when possible
  3. Go plastic free where possible
  4. Avoid printing. If you do need to print, print on the reverse side of used paper
  5. Recycle or re-purpose waste materials from your production process. Could another student enterprise use your waste materials in their business?
  6. Try to buy eco goods when purchasing raw materials
  7. Boycott products that endanger wildlife
  8. Does your business tie in with one or more of the Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs)?
  9. Ensure you make your customers aware of the various ways that your products/services/processes are eco-friendly. This will make them feel good about their purchasing choice whilst also being confident in the knowledge that you are doing your bit for the planet? And with the added benefit of making a profit?  Win/Win!
  10. Offer reduced price refills to customers so that they re-use their original container

Judges will be looking at how your business is sustainable and will award marks for this in the sustainability/global world category and also in the innovation category. Plus … this year we are awarding a new ‘Green Go Getter’ Award kindly sponsored by the EPA

Whoever coined the phrase “every little helps” was spot on.  Together, we can all make a difference.  Individually, your student enterprise can make a world of difference.  Don’t underestimate your power to help make a change.

Check out some of our former SEP winners who championed sustainability with their student enterprises:

Barrelda (2022 Senior Winners) Go Green Now (2021 Junior Winners)

County Final Dates 2023

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County Final Dates 2023

Limerick21st March 2023Digital Collaboration Centre
Dun Laoghaire Rathdown22nd March 2023Royal Marine Hotel
Galway16th March 2023Clayton Hotel
North Cork14th March 2023Charleville Park Hotel
Offaly7th March 2023Tullamore Court Hotel
Mayo9th March 2023Great National Hotel, Ballina
West Cork6th March 2023Celtic Ross, Rosscarbery
Donegal8th March 2023TBC
Leitrim7th March 2023The Bush Hotel, Carrick-on-Shannon
Longford21st March 2023Longford Arms
Sligo22nd March 2023Sligo Park Hotel
Wicklow2nd March 2023Clermont House, Rathnew
Westmeath9th March 2023Golden Island Shopping Centre
Fingal15th March 2023Crowne Plaza, Blanchardstown
Dublin City21st March 2023Mansion House
South Dublin23rd March 2023TUD
Kerry21st March 2023MTU Campus
Meath28th March 2023Knightsbrook Hotel, Trim
Waterford7th March 2023Park Hotel, Dungarvan
Kildare23rd March 2023Killashee Hotel, Naas
Clare8th March (junior &
inter mediate)
West County Hotel, Ennis
Clare9th March (senior)West County Hotel, Ennis
Tipperary6th March 2023Thurles TUS Campus
Kilkenny8th March 2023Lyrath Estate Hotel
Laois14th March 2023Midlands Park Hotel, Portlaoise
Carlow7th March 2023Woodford Dolmen Hotel, Carlow
Wexford9th MarchWexford County Council, Carricklawn
Roscommon14th MarchAbbey Hotel
Monaghan14th MarchTBC
Cork City14th MarchTBC
South Cork14th March 2023County Hall
Cavan9th MarchTBC