SEP National Final 2020 Goes Virtual!

By Blog, Media

2017 national finalsWe are delighted to announce that our 2020 Student Enterprise Programme National Final is going to be STREAMED VIRTUALLY on our Facebook and YouTube channels on Wednesday 27th May 2020 at 3pm.

Rick O’Shea will MC our event and we will have a host of guest speakers and chats with some former SEP alumni as well as other fun features.

35 awards in total will be given out in the main SEP categories junior, intermediate and senior and in our two pilot competitions ‘Go Green Video Competition’ and ‘My  Entrepreneurial Journey’ competition.

The winning team in the senior category will walk away with a 2,000 euro technology voucher and a 1,000 cash prize for their school.

We are delighted to be able to still hold our National Final, which is now in it’s 18th year.

WELL DONE to all students and teachers for getting their electronic entries in to our judges under extremely difficult circumstances.

The countdown starts now …… tune in on Wednesday 27th May at 3pm to find out who all the winners are!!!

National Final Virtual Judging Underway!!!

By Blog, Media

2017 national finalsIn light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Student Enterprise Programme National Final 2020 is gone virtual and the judging process has officially begun!

We are delighted to say that this year we have received a record no. of entries for the National Final – a total of 85 student businesses have been put forward by their Local Enterprise Offices in the Junior, Intermediate and Senior categories.

Business ideas worked on by our students include innovations in the agricultural, craft, food, sporting, tech and education sectors, just to name a few.

A full list of off 85 national finalists will be announced shortly on our social media platforms, so keep an eye out over the coming days!

We are delighted to be able to still recognise all the fantastic work put in since last September by our students and teachers. Especially in light of recent restrictions and schools being off, it’s a fantastic achievement by everyone to have so many entries received. Well done to you all for getting here!

A massive thank you also to our dedicated panel of judges who are working hard on reviewing all entries. To find out more about our judges go to our social media pages over the next day or so where you can learn more about them.

Our two new pilot competitions – ‘Go Green: Be Sustainable’ creative video competition and the ‘My Entrepreneurial Journey’ competition will also be judged over the coming weeks.

All results will be formally announced online the week of 25th May – the actual day will be confirmed shortly.

2020 SEP Final Officially Cancelled

By Blog, Media

Due to the current situation and restrictions put in place to tackle the Corona Virus situation, the SEP National Final in Croke Park on Friday 1st May 2020 has been officially cancelled. This is very disappointing for all involved – in particular our  teachers and students who have worked so hard since last September on their student enterprises.


The Local Enterprise Offices are very committed to holding some sort of judging process in 2020 in order to acknowledge the huge amount of work put in by everyone since last September.


To this end, we would like to advise teachers and students that we plan to adopt the following approach:


Main Mini-Company Programme:


  • A new deadline of April 20th is in place for the submission of national final business reports and posters from county winners. In the case of regions where county finals did not take place due to Corona virus restrictions, judging at local level will be done based on business reports and one winner in each category chosen and sent forward for judging at national level.


  • Submissions can be made in soft copy format.


  • A national judging panel will then carry out a paper based judging exercise for all national final business reports and winners chosen. A small awards ceremony to present prizes will be held later in the year.



My Entrepreneurial Journey Entries:


  • Same approach and deadline as per above applies



We hope the above gives some clarity and guidance to our teacher and student community. If you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact us.


Thanks to every one of you for your patience and co-operation at this unusual and difficult time.

SEP 19/20 Offically Launched

By Blog, Media



Ireland’s largest business and enterprise programme for second level students, the Student Enterprise Programme, an initiative of the Local Enterprise Offices, was launched on 17th December by Pat Breen, T.D., Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection in Portmarnock Community School in Dublin.


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 over 24,000 students from almost 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 Croke Park on May 1st.


Minister Breen was joined at the launch by professional rugby star, Josh Van Der Flier, the 2019/2020 ambassador for the Student Enterprise Programme.  Van Der Flier was a participant in the Student Enterprise Programme when he studied at Wesley College.


This year’s Programme will see two new pilot competitions across the Junior, Intermediate and Senior categories.  The first, the “My Entrepreneurial Journey” pilot will be run in the Junior and Intermediate cycle and is open to any students involved in the wider competition.  It requires them to map out the life of a successful entrepreneur and what is required.


In the Senior category there is a new “Most Creative Business Idea” section.  Under the theme “Go Green: Be Sustainable” students can push their most innovative ideas, without having to produce a product or service and it is open to all senior students taking part in the wider competition.


Speaking to some of the students involved in this year’s programme at the event, Minister Breen emphasised the importance of them engaging with enterprise and using it to innovate and create solutions for today’s world.  “The students of today are increasingly aware of the role they can play in changing the status quo.  Encouragement of entrepreneurial and innovative skills allows them to change things, to create new opportunities and to contribute to solving some of the many issues facing society today and in the future.  This spirit has always been very evident in the Student Enterprise Programme.  Every year we see creative young minds bringing fresh thinking to all areas of business, whether it’s innovative design, new software, revolutionary apps, or simply solving a daily issue in some area of life.


“These students are the entrepreneurs of the future, they will be our job creators, they are the ones we want to support and help on their entrepreneurship journey.  We want to foster those ideas because these students will provide the business success stories in the future. I wish all students the very best of luck in this year’s programme.  I know they will find it a richly rewarding experience.” Minister Breen said.


Student Enterprise Programme Ambassador, Josh Van Der Flier, said; “Having a good grasp of business will stand by you at any age and in any profession and that’s why the Student Enterprise Programme is such a great initiative by the Local Enterprise Offices. I know from having been involved myself at school how great it is to learn how to create that idea, make it happen and then make sales from scratch.  I certainly didn’t win any awards for my business, but it gave me a great knowledge of how a business works at an early age and the thousands of students who take part will always have that.” 


Oisin Geoghegan, Chair of the network of Local Enterprise Offices, said; “The aim of the Student Enterprise Programme is to instil that little bit of entrepreneurship in every student that takes part.  The Local Enterprise Offices work closely with the schools to help spark their ideas but also ground them in what will help them make sales.  These skills are invaluable and to see the amazing ideas, year on year, many of which have become viable businesses, is inspirational not only to their fellow students but to anyone involved in business and entrepreneurship.”


Students from this year’s Student Enterprise Programme from Portmarnock Community School were in attendance at the launch, including 2018 / 2019 National Junior Category Winner, Ava Gilmartin and her business SpecRest from Fingal.  Inspired by her Mum, a nurse, who continually lost her glasses while at work, Ava created a 3D printed biodegradable clip that will secure glasses on clothing.  The invention saw Ava named as one of the 3 category winners at Croke Park last May along with Smooth Remove from North Cork, a device for shoe removal in the Senior category and Crios Mhadra from Kerry, a dog safety harness for car travel in the Intermediate category.


Since the Student Enterprise Programme began in 2003, over 200,000 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 website for 2019 / 2020 at, which will feature regular blogs and houses a full range of Student Enterprise resources for students and teachers.




For further information:

Declan Lee – Enterprise Ireland – 087 695 7451 /

Sarah Bohan – Enterprise Ireland – 087 653 9936 /





Junior – Specrest – Educate Together, Portmarnock (in attendance at launch)

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


Tips for our budding eco entrepreneurs!

By Blog

Have you been inspired by the recent student “Green” movement? Is the future of our planet something that concerns you? It’s easy to admire those who are making waves in the environmental/green/sustainable space, but you may have wondered many times how you could make a real contribution to the cause. Maybe you have the germ of a brilliant idea for a product or service which couenvironment competitionld potentially be a game changer in this area?   The “Most Creative Business Idea Competition” is a brand spanking new part of the Student Enterprise Programme (SEP) and it offers you a platform for having your voice and idea heard by a very wide audience!   This could be your chance to shine, to bring a whole new innovation to the world through coming up with a business idea in the area of renewables/the environment/sustainability/the marine/climate change. It doesn’t matter if your idea could potentially solve just a small problem. When it comes to this very important area, every little change counts! And you don’t have to have a prototype or any sales made. Plus, you could win a €500 voucher. What’s not to like?

So, how do you take part?

If your class is registered to participate in the Student Enterprise Programme and you will be sixteen years old by 28th February, 2020, then you can submit an entry. This is an individual competition based on a two minute long video pitch, so the idea has to be yours and it’s up to you alone to produce and star in the video!

Full rules are available on but, here’s a summary of what you need to know:

  • Your idea must tie in with the “Go Green: Be sustainable” theme.
  • Students MUST BE OVER 16 YEARS of age at the time of entry and in SENIOR CYCLE to enter. Anyone appearing in the pitch video must also have been 16 years old or older at the time the pitch video was made.
  • You must enter as an individual.
  • You have to make a video of yourself “pitching” your idea and post it on your You Tube Channel, on a public setting.
  • Your video can’t be any more than two minutes long.
  • The idea can’t be one which is being used by a team in the Student Enterprise Programme.
  • You don’t have to have a prototype or a product made/sold to take part.


Sounds simple, right? A two minute video pitch – a piece of cake. Hmmm… You might be well used to taking selfies, but chances are, you haven’t listened back to yourself speaking or seen yourself on video very often. You may be a Snapchat pro, but have you ever tried recording yourself explaining a concept on video? Probably not. You will get lots of helpful tips on the Student Enterprise website about making your video, but when it comes to the practicalities of composing and recording your pitch, the following could be really helpful.


  1. If you’re not used to the sound of your own voice, practice reading something out loud. Concentrate on diction, pronunciation and pace. Don’t rush it and don’t forget to breathe! A nursery rhyme will do for a start! Record yourself on your phone. Listen back and get used to the sound of your own voice. You don’t sound that bad – honestly! Get over it….


  1. Graduate to taking a video of yourself reading out the piece you have chosen. Watch it back. Make notes of what you could change. Re-record. Do this a good few times until you are comfortable with the end result.


  1. Sit down and think about your idea. ( “New Competitions/ Go Green: Be Sustainable/More information available here”) gives you five pointers about the content of your pitch. If you stick to these you can’t go wrong. Write out your script. Don’t worry about the length of it just yet. Read and record.


  1. Edit your script. Remember that it can’t be more than two minutes long. This is probably the trickiest part. You may have to rearrange sentences. Read it out loud. Make sure it makes sense. There is a world of difference in writing an essay and writing a video script. Short, snappy sentences are the order of the day!


  1. Ask someone who knows absolutely nothing about your idea (but make sure it’s someone you trust so they won’t steal it on you) if they understand the concept and if you have explained it properly. This is a very good way to ensure that you are being crystal clear and that you have thought out your idea properly. Stick to the point. Explain it like you would to a five year old!


  1. Edit your script again!


  1. Decide on the location for your video and any props you might like to use. You will stand out from the crowd if you can do this creatively. NB. If you are using an “extra” in your video, that person MUST be at least sixteen years of age at the time the video is made.


  1. Wear a bright colour (but not white). Don’t wear very patterned clothing (best not to wear stripes).   Have a good, contrasting background. Don’t take a video of yourself in front of a window (unless the curtains are closed!) or you will look like Beyonce with a halo! Make sure you pick a quiet location. There should be absolutely no back-ground noise.


  1. If you are moving/ walking about, using props in your video, make sure you and they stay within shot.


  1. Have fun with it! The judges’ attention will be caught by an engaging, informative, energetic presentation of your fabulous business idea!