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2020-21 Student Enterprise Programme Launching Soon!!!


By Blog, Media

Media Release

27th May, 2020





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




For further information:

Suzanne Meade – Fuzion Communications – 086 413 3031 /

Declan Lee – Enterprise Ireland – 087 695 7451 /

Sarah Bohan – Enterprise Ireland – 087 653 9936 /




Junior – Sofatop, Ballybay Community College, Monaghan

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


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.