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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.