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2019 SEP Intellectual Property Awards

By Media

2019 SEP Ipatents officentellectual Property Awards

The Student Enterprise Programme is delighted to announce that we will once again be awarding three prizes in the area of Intellectual Property at the National SEP Final on Friday 3rd May 2019 in Croke Park, Dublin.

The awards are kindly sponsored by The Irish Patents Office ( and are open only to students  that make the National Final stage of the Programme.

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2019 SEP National Social Media Awards

By Media

2019 SEP National Social Media Awards2017 national finals

The Student Enterprise Programme is delighted to announce that we will once again be awarding three prizes in the area of social media at the National SEP Final on Friday 3rd May 2019 in Croke Park, Dublin.

The awards are kindly sponsored by Essential French, Cork ( and are open to all students nationwide taking part in the SEP 18/19, not just those who make the National Final.

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Student Enterprise Programme Launch

By Blog, Media

Student Enterprise Programme Launch

Media Release 19th December 2018


Ireland’s largest second level business programme for students, the Student Enterprise Programme, an initiative of the Local Enterprise Offices, was launched today by Pat Breen, T.D., Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection.

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 26,000 students from 512 secondary schools across the country take part in 2018.  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 3rd.

Minister Breen was joined at the launch by professional rugby star, Josh Van Der Flier, the 2018/2019 ambassador for the Student Enterprise Programme. Today’s launch took place in Van Der Flier’s former school, Wesley College in Dundrum, where the flanker took part in the Local Enterprise Office’s student enterprise programme when he was a student.

Speaking to some of the students involved in this year’s programme at the event, Minister Breen emphasised the importance of instilling entrepreneurship in future business leaders.  “It is imperative that we try to give the next generation of entrepreneurs a real understanding and passion for how businesses work.  We need creative young minds coming through who want to create their own businesses in the future and create jobs in Ireland. 

 “The Local Enterprise Offices do a fantastic job in fostering this entrepreneurial spirit in secondary level schools with the Student Enterprise Programme.  Year on year the ideas and businesses are remarkable and belie the ages of many of the participants.  The best of luck to every student taking part this year and while they will all want to win, the knowledge and experience they will gain on the journey will be invaluable to them in years ahead,” Minister Breen said.

Student Enterprise Programme Ambassador, Josh Van Der Flier, said; “The Student Enterprise Programme is a fantastic initiative from the Local Enterprise Offices.  Having been involved myself when I was in secondary school, it gives you a real business understanding of how to bring a good idea from concept to creating something that is fully ready to go to market.  Many of the traits in sport and in business are similar and for students to be getting this grounding in business at such a formative time in their lives will stand by them in whatever profession they pursue.”    

Michael Nevin, Chair of the Student Enterprise Programme Committee with the Local Enterprise Offices said; “The Student Enterprise Programme is designed to engage and develop students’ entrepreneurial drive.  It gives them a flavour of business and the opportunity to bring some of their fantastic ideas to life.  The 31 Local Enterprise Offices in local authorities across the country work closely with the schools but it’s the enthusiasm of the students that shines though along with some amazing ideas.  We have seen so many students through the programme that continue their business in the years after the programme and that’s a testament to the work of the teachers involved and the programme itself.”     

The three winning businesses from 2018 had their products at the launch in Wesley College; Complete Caman from Presentation Secondary School, Castleisland, Kerry who won the Junior Award, Lift Arm Assist from CBS Kilkenny who won the Intermediate category and Abbey Bread from Cistercian College Roscrea, who won the Senior category.

Abbey Bread, the Senior winner, was a simple bread mix created by Cistercian College Roscrea student Manus Heenan from a 100-year-old Cistercian monks recipe.  Lift Arm Assist, winners of the Intermediate category in 2018, was developed by three students from Kilkenny and is a hydraulic arm that replaces the lift arm stabiliser on the back of a tractor.  The Complete Caman, developed by five teenage girls from Kerry is a specialised designed hurl that allows people of all ages or abilities to train themselves in hurling.

Since the Student Enterprise Programme began in 2003 over 175,000 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 2018 / 2019 at, which will feature regular blogs and houses a full range of Student Enterprise resources for students and teachers.

Others who attended today’s launch were Chris Woods, Principal of Wesley College, Brian Delany, Business Studies teacher at Wesley College, Mariea Mulally of Local Enterprise Office Dun Laoghaire Rathdown and Carl Cullen of ROC Protection who won the Student Enterprise Programme in 2017.


For further information:

Declan Lee – Enterprise Ireland – 087 695 7451 /

Sarah Bohan – Enterprise Ireland – 087 653 9936 /



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


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2018 National Winners Announced

By Media

List of Student Enterprise National Winners 2018

Junior Category:

1<st:                               Complete Caman, Presentation Secondary School, Castleisland

2<nd:                               Gno Jo, Colaiste Naomh Cormac, Kilcormac, Offaly

3<rd:                                Slimey Wonders, Dominican College, Muckross Park, Dublin City

Best Display Stand:    Hot Chills Ltd. Colaiste Eamonn Ris, Callan, Co. Kilkenny

Best Commercial Potential:  Code Ed, St. Patricks Classical School, Navan, Co. Meath

Special Merit:              Slide It Up, St. Clares Secondary School, Manorhamilton, Leitrim

Intermediate Category:

1<st:                                 Lift Arm Assist, CBS Kilkenny

2<nd:                                 Inishowen Pens, Scoil Mhuire, Buncrana, Donegal

3<rd:                                  UShield, Colaiste Dun Iascaigh, Cahir

Best Display Stand:     The Wooly Craft Maker, Eureka Secondary School, Kells

Best Commercial Potential:  Makes Cents, Sacred Heart Secondary School, Drogheda

Special Merit:               App of Troy, Castletroy College, Limerick

Senior Category:

1<st:                                  Abbey Bread, Cistercian College, Roscrea

2<nd:                                  The Roofing Safety Bar, St. Patrick’s Classical School, Navan

3<rd:                                   Free Flow Bunkers, St. Macartans College, Monaghan

Best Display Stand:      The Wellbeing Fairy, St. Caimins Community College, Shannon

Best Commercial Potential:   Reel Easy, Moyne Community School, Longford

Special Merit:                 Little Elephant, Creagh College, Gorey, Wexford

Special Merit:                 Kat Food, CBS Kilkenny

Special Merit:                  Mind Matters, St. Joseph’s CBS, Dublin City

Social Media:

Most Creative Use of Social Media:                        Abbey Bread, Cistercian College, Roscrea

Most Effective Social Media Campaign:                  Eirealert, Scoil Dara, Kilcock, Kildare

Most Interactive Business on social Media:           Generation STEM, Killorglin Community College


Junior IP Award:                Complete Caman, Presentation Secondary School, Castleisland

Intermediate IP Award:    Comfy Hands Healthcare, Our Lady’s Secondary School, Belmullet

Senior IP Award:                Back to Basics, St. Mary’s Secondary School, Ballina, Mayo

Countdown to SEP Final 2018

By Media

Countdown to Student Enterprise National Final on May 2nd

23,600 students from 480 Irish secondary schools take part in Student Enterprise Programme through the Local Enterprise Offices every year, bringing the world of business into the classroom.

From 16-year old blacksmiths to 13-year old canine fashion designers, some of Ireland’s most enterprising teenagers gathered in Dublin this week to help Local Enterprise Offices launch the countdown to the Student Enterprise Programme National Finals on Wednesday, May 2nd in Croke Park.

Starting every September, students across three age categories (Junior, Intermediate and Senior) research, set up, and run their own businesses with the help of their teachers and supports from their Local Enterprise Office. 230 students from 77 different student enterprises have now reached this year’s National Finals, having qualified through school and county finals earlier in the year.

Finalists from Kerry, Limerick, Sligo, Roscommon, Longford and Dublin travelled to Croke Park this week to announce the date of this year’s National Finals (May 2nd) and to preview their inventions, products and prototypes, which include:

–          A ‘build it yourself’ robot kit for students learning S.T.E.M subjects

–          A safety device for cyclists, that projects a temporary bicycle lane from a saddle

–          Handcrafted branding irons for farmers with pedigree cattle

–          An all-in-one training hurley for players of all levels

–          A metal tensioner for farmers, that transfers wire easily from a spool to a reel

–          Novelty fashion accessories for dogs

–          Gourmet serving trays, with removeable slate inserts for writing product descriptions

Run by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices in every local authority area, the Student Enterprise Programme is the biggest enterprise education initiative of its kind in the country, with 23,600 students taking part every year from 480 second-level schools. Funding for the programme is provided by the Government of Ireland through Enterprise Ireland, and since it started in 2003, over 150,000 students have now taken part.

Michael Nevin, Chair of the Enterprise Education Committee with the Local Enterprise Offices said: “The National Final in Croke Park is the biggest celebration of secondary school entrepreneurs in the country every year. Thanks to the support of teachers from over 480 schools, the Student Enterprise Programme links in with the school curriculum around enterprise in the classroom and really helps students gain skills and practical knowledge of running a real-life business. The programme also encourages more students to consider entrepreneurship as a future career choice, with the Local Enterprise Office on hand to help.”

The special guest at this year’s National Final is the Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen T.D.

Last year’s Senior Category was won by ‘ROC Protection’ from Clonkeen College in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, with a protective base layer for hurling and camogie players.

2017/18 SEP Officially Launched

By Media

2017/18 SEP Officially Launched

From turning engines into tables to keeping bees, how 22,000 Irish teenagers are planning to start their own businesses

Minister Pat Breen launches the country’s biggest student enterprise programme with the Local Enterprise Offices on visit to award-winning Coláiste Chill Mhantáin in Wicklow Town

An estimated 22,000 secondary school students from 620 Irish schools are learning about the world of business by setting up their own enterprises through the Student Enterprise Programme with the Local Enterprise Offices.

The Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen T.D. is today visiting the school of an award-winning teenage entrepreneur in Wicklow, to officially launch the 2017/2018 Student Enterprise Programme.

The programme is the biggest enterprise education initiative of its kind in the country and later this morning, Minister Breen is visiting the school of one of last year’s winners, whose student business involved transforming car, truck and tank engines into tables and lamps for customers at home and abroad.

As part of today’s visit, the Minister will also meet other enterprising students from the school who set up businesses such as bee-keeping, mattress recycling and social media networking.

Speaking ahead of his visit to the school, Minister Breen said: “Since the Student Enterprise Programme began in 2003, more than 150,000 students have benefitted and we want to keep nurturing Ireland’s future entrepreneurs and business leaders in the years to come. Entrepreneurship is the backbone of the Irish economy and initiatives such as the Student Enterprise Programme are key to fostering a more enterprising culture. I would encourage principals and teachers to get in touch with their Local Enterprise Office, to find out how they can get involved in the next Student Enterprise Programme.”

Michael Nevin is the Chair of the Enterprise Education Committee with the Local Enterprise Offices which runs the Student Enterprise Programme. Welcoming the official launch of this year’s programme by Minister Breen he said: “From turning engines into tables to keeping bees, the Student Enterprise Programme enables thousands of students to explore the world of business, starting in the classroom. This is a very practical programme for second-level students, made possible thanks to the support of schools, principals and teachers in every county and local authority area.”

The Minister is being welcomed to the school this morning by the principal, Padraig Donoghue, business studies’ teacher, Bosco Guinan, the new Chief Executive of Wicklow County Council, Frank Curran, the Chair of the network of Local Enterprise Offices, Sheelagh Daly along with Anna Kinnerk of Enterprise Ireland.

Padraig Donoghue, the Principal of Coláiste Chill Mhantáin, said: “The Student Enterprise Programme creates an opportunity for students to refine their entrepreneurial skills in an effort to design, market and sell a product. This programme places the skill of communication central in the success of a product and this is a skillset that will serve the students well in their future lives and endeavours. Being a successful entrepreneur requires optimism, vision, resilience and tenacity to bring a product to a successful conclusion; whether the product is new or the refinement of an existing product is open to each entrepreneur. When one of our students won the national category title in May 2017, it was a huge boost for the Student Enterprise Programme in the school and demonstrated that being an entrepreneur does challenge us to look at things differently and see how they can be used for different functions.”

Updates for teacher resource packs are available to secondary schools, free of charge, through the website.