IRELAND’S FINEST STUDENT ENTREPRENEURS CELEBRATE VIRTUALLY

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Media Release

27th May, 2020

 

BUSINESS DEVELOPED ON ALL-IRELAND WINNER’S FARM TAKES TOP STUDENT ENTERPRISE PRIZE

IRELAND’S FINEST STUDENT ENTREPRENEURS CELEBRATE VIRTUALLY

 

A magnetic hose holder aimed specifically at parlour hoses for dairy farmers, developed on the farm of a Kilkenny All-Ireland winner, has taken top prize in the Senior category at today’s Student Enterprise Programme National Finals, run by the Local Enterprise Offices.

 

The Handy Hose by student entrepreneurs Jack O’Mara and Daniel Ruddy from CBS Thurles, on behalf of Local Enterprise Office Tipperary, fits to the hose to enable it to attach easily to the any metal surface within the milking parlour.

 

Along with an endorsement from four-time All-Ireland winner and farmer Lester Ryan where the students developed the idea, the product has also received the backing of Farmer of the Year 2019, David Russell, who has several in his parlours.  The enterprise, J&D Engineering, make the attachment themselves and had sold over 200, before the Covid-19 pandemic, but continue to sell online.

 

The other categories saw wins for Dublin City and Monaghan.  In the intermediate category, the Aim-It Board, from students in Loreto College, St. Stephen’s Green, on behalf of Local Enterprise Office Dublin City was named the overall winner.  The board is based on a basketball hoop and backboard but is designed to highlight where a certain throw will land helping students with physical activity but also understanding angles and the physics of throwing a ball.

 

The winner in the Junior category was the Sofatop, created by students from Ballybay Community College on behalf of Local Enterprise Office Monaghan.  The Sofatop is s stylish flexible tray that can safely hold a cup of tea within reach on a couch.

 

For the first time since the Student Enterprise Programme began in 2003, the National Finals took place online.  Having originally been scheduled to take place in Croke Park on the 1st May, the Local Enterprise Office run awards, were announced virtually today, 27th May, via live stream on the Student Enterprise Programmes Facebook and YouTube channels.

 

The students and teachers from across the country logged online to the event hosted by RTE’s Rick O’Shea and he was joined during the ceremony by previous winners and Student Entrepreneur Programme Ambassador, Josh Van Der Flier.  The rugby star previously took part in the initiative when he was a student at Wesley College in Dublin.

 

In the Senior Category this year’s runners up were “What About Me” from Dunmore Community School in Galway in third place and “The Last Straw” from Tullow Community School in Carlow in second place.

 

In the Intermediate Category, third place went to “Bookworms” from St. Clare’s Comprehensive School in Manorhamilton, Leitrim and second place was “Sala Sios” from Castleisland Presentation School, Kerry.

 

In the Junior Category the runners up are “Castaways” from Castleisland Presentation School in Kerry who finished in third place and second place went to “Bee Wrappi” from Summerhill College in Sligo.

 

There was a record number of 85 student enterprises competing in Ireland’s largest entrepreneurship programme for second level students. The 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 close to 26,000 students from almost 500 secondary schools across the country take part.

 

Heather Humphreys, T.D., Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, congratulated the students today; “This is a challenging time for students all across the country but today is a day that they get to celebrate all the hard work they have put into their businesses since last September.  To the winners today my congratulations, but to all the finalists, you have achieved something truly exceptional.  The ability to devise a business, set it up and run it, is something that will stand by you forever.  Ireland has a history of great entrepreneurs and no doubt many of you today will go on to achieve greatness in business and we will ensure we are there to support you every step of the way.”

 

Michael Nevin, chair of the Local Enterprise Office’s Enterprise Education Committee, said; “It has been another outstanding year for the Student Enterprise Programme and that is reflected in the quality of finalists.  The programme has helped over 200,000 students create and run their own businesses since 2003 and that in itself is a reflection of the entrepreneurial genes in our young students.  Not only do today’s students want to create a good business, they want to create a business that improves society or helps the world around us and that has to be commended.  So to our winners, finalists and our whole class of 2019/2020, well done and we can look forward great new businesses you will be starting in the future.” 

 

The National Final students, who competed across three categories, Junior, Intermediate and Senior, saw judging take place virtually via electronic submissions.  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.

 

This year’s Programme also saw two new pilot competitions across the Junior, Intermediate and Senior categories.  The first, the “My Entrepreneurial Journey” pilot 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 Fiachra Murray of Patrician College, Carrickmacross, Monaghan in the Junior Category while Nathan Ryan from Colaiste Eamonn Ris in Kilkenny

 

In the Senior category there was a new “Go Green: Be Sustainable Creative Business Competition”. In this new pilot competition students could push their most innovative business ideas via a video pitch, without having to produce a product or service and was open to all senior students taking part in the wider competition.  The winner of this new category was Kieran Spaight from Tarbert Comprehensive School in Kerry.

 

Since 2003, over 220,000 students have taken part in the Student Enterprise Programme.  Last year again there was great variety across the entries, and the winners.  In the Junior category, Specrest from Fingal in Dublin designed a 3D printed biodegradable clip that will secure glasses on clothing.  Smooth Remove from North Cork, a device for shoe removal won in the Senior category while Crios Mhadra from Kerry, a dog safety harness for car travel took home the Intermediate prize.

 

Full details of all this year’s 85 national finalists are available on the Student Enterprise Programme website at www.StudentEnterprise.ie

 

ENDS

 

For further information:

Suzanne Meade – Fuzion Communications – 086 413 3031 / suzanne@fuzion.ie

Declan Lee – Enterprise Ireland – 087 695 7451 / Declan.Lee@enterprise-ireland.com

Sarah Bohan – Enterprise Ireland – 087 653 9936 / Sarah.Bohan@Enterprise-Ireland.com

 

STUDENT ENTERPRISE PROGRAMME WINNERS

2020

Junior – Sofatop, Ballybay Community College, Monaghan

Intermediate – Aim It Board, Loreto College, St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin City

Senior – Handy Hose, CBS Thurles, Tipperary

 

2019

Junior – Specrest – Educate Together, Portmarnock

Intermediate – Crios Mhadra – Presentation Secondary, Castleisland, Kerry

Senior – Smooth Remove – Boherbue Comprehensive, North Cork

 

2018

Junior – Complete Caman – Presentation Secondary School, CastleIsland, Kerry

Intermediate – Lift Arm Assist – CBS Kilkenny

Senior – Abbey Bread – Cistercian College, Roscrea, Offaly

 

2017

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

 

SEP National Final 2020 Goes Virtual!

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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!!!

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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

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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

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MINISTER PAT BREEN T.D. LAUNCHES IRELAND’S LARGEST STUDENT BUSINESS PROGRAMME

 

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 www.StudentEnterprise.ie, which will feature regular blogs and houses a full range of Student Enterprise resources for students and teachers.

 

ENDS

 

For further information:

Declan Lee – Enterprise Ireland – 087 695 7451 / Declan.Lee@enterprise-ireland.com

Sarah Bohan – Enterprise Ireland – 087 653 9936 / Sarah.Bohan@Enterprise-Ireland.com

 

PREVIOUS STUDENT ENTERPRISE PROGRAMME WINNERS

 

2019

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

Intermediate – Crios Mhadra – Presentation Secondary, Castleisland, Kerry

Senior – Smooth Remove – Boherbue Comprehensive, North Cork

2018

Junior – Complete Caman – Presentation Secondary School, CastleIsland, Kerry

Intermediate – Lift Arm Assist – CBS Kilkenny

Senior – Abbey Bread – Cistercian College, Roscrea, Offaly

2017

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