Countdown to Croke Park begins for Fingal’s most enterprising students

March 25, 2019 0

Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Fingal confirms that winning teenage entrepreneurs from Malahide/Portmarnock, Balbriggan and Sutton will represent Fingal at the National Final of the Student Enterprise Programme (SEP). Teenage entrepreneurs from three local schools have won a place representing Fingal at the SEP National Finals in Croke Park on Friday, May 3rd.

lighbulbEvery September through LEO Fingal, entrepreneurial secondary school students begin their business journey as they are encouraged to research, set-up and run their own real-world businesses. The enterprise education initiative delivered by the 31 LEOs in local authorities, is the most successful student enterprise programme of kind in the country. An estimated 26,000 students from 490 schools around the country begin their entrepreneurial journey every year with the help of their teachers, student enterprise co-ordinators and Local Enterprise Office. Fingal accounted for 2,700 of these students, making the Fingal competition by far the biggest in the country.

The students from 29 Fingal schools were all competing at the County Final on Thursday, 21st March 2019, which was held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Blanchardstown. All students started up their own real-life business in a structured programme where they learned real business management skills.

In the Junior Category, the students that will represent Fingal at the National Finals in Croke Park are from Malahide Portmarnock Educate Together with a business called “SpecRest”, which is a device for conveniently storing eyewear.

In the Intermediate Category, Loreto Balbriggan scooped the top award, with their project called “Page Keepers”, a system to help book readers. The girls will be representing Fingal in Croke Park in Intermediate category.

In the Senior Category of the competition, Fingal will be represented on May 3rd by “Bee Kind” of St. Fintan’s High School in Sutton. This is an innovative business set up to enable homeowners to attract bees which in turn helps our environment and eco-system by encouraging pollination. The winner in the senior category also scoops the grand prize of the coveted two-day educational trip to Barcelona, where the students and teachers will mingle with enterprising Spanish students that are engaged on other EU-funded enterprise development programmes.

As well as the biggest competition in the country, Fingal also boasts the most generous prize fund, thanks to the sponsors of the programme: One4All Multi-store Gift Cards, The Blanchardstown Shopping Centre and the Dublin and Dun Laoghaire Education & Training Board (DDLETB). Representatives from these sponsors were present on the day announcing the winners: Nicola Roche from One4All presented the Innovation Award (won by Concrete Creations from Blakestown Community School); Niamh Garrahan from Blanchardstown Centre presented the Best Display Award (won by kafoodle Bakery from Loretto Balbriggan); and Aisling Crowley from DDLETB presented the Enterprising School Spirit Award (won by Luttrellstown Community College).

Other award winners included the Dragon’s Den Award Comfort Writing from Mount Sackville in Chapelizod; Social Media won by Bobblehats from St. Fintans’ High School in Sutton.

Oisin Geoghegan, Chair of the LEO Network and Head of Enterprise at LEO Fingal congratulated the students, saying “We have the largest enterprise programme of its kind in Ireland, with 2,700 students from 29 local schools taking part this year. Our national finalists are excellent ambassadors for the programme and we wish them the very best of luck in Croke Park.”

The local students will be competing against hundreds of other student entrepreneurs from all over Ireland in Croke Park at the SEP National Finals on May 3rd.

Further information around the SEP is available from www.studententerprise.ie