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27 Jun 2022

Offaly schools heading to Student Enterprise Programme National Final

Offaly schools heading to Student Enterprise Programme National Final

Offaly schools heading to Student Enterprise Programme National Final

Banagher, Tullamore and Ferbane schools are heading to the Student Enterprise Programme National Finals.

The students all took part in the Offaly Final on March 5, which was held at the Tullamore Court Hotel. An estimated 450 students from 10 schools took part in the annual programme locally.

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 25,000 students from over 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.

This year’s Programme included a new pilot competition across the Junior and Intermediate categories.  The My Entrepreneurial Journey pilot required students to map out the life of an entrepreneur and what is required. 

In the Senior Category of the competition, Offaly will be represented on May 1 by Cathal Flannery from Clononey Crafts, Banagher College. Cathal produces a range of crafted wooden items including lamps, pens and bowls.

In the Intermediate Category, Santa’s Reindeers from Tullamore College will represent the county. The business is run by 3rd-year student Anthony Gorman who makes handcrafted wooden reindeers.

In the Junior Category, the students representing Offaly at the National Finals in Croke Park are: Oisin Kennedy, Ryan Keenaghan, Iris Samonte and Rachel Doorley from Cluny Sustainable Crafts in Gallen Community School. They produce flower arrangements using upcycled jars.

In the new “My Entrepreneurial Journey” competition, Daniel Scally from Tullamore College won the Junior category while the Intermediate category, Sophie Moore of Oaklands Community College came out on top. 

As well as sharing the prize fund of almost €3,000, the winner of the Junior, Intermediate and Senior categories in the Student Enterprise and Mini-Business competition received a specially commissioned trophy designed by Ross Hathaway of Metal Meyham, and every student received a certificate to mark their participation in the competition. 

This year, the students themselves had an opportunity to vote for their favourite project. The “Student Award” ended up as a tie and therefore went to “The Dosing Rail” from Banagher College owned by Jessica Kenny, and The Infinity Candle from Killina Presentation Secondary School both received €50 each.

A special teachers’ prize draw was held and gift vouchers went to Michelle Griffin of Tullamore College and Katie Murray of Ard Scoil Chiarain Naofa, Clara.

Offaly has a very successful track record in the Student Enterprise competition. Recent awards won at the National Final include Overall Winner in 2018 with Manus Heenan’s “Abbey Bread” from Cistercian College. 

Speaking at the final, Mr Peter Ormond, Cathaoirleach Offaly County Council, commended the students for their efforts. He also thanked their teachers and parents for their support. “It’s a great opportunity for you (the students) to develop your business skills. Hopefully, many of you will go on to set up your own businesses in the future and avail of the services of the Local Enterprise Office, which is now an integral part of the County Council,” he commented.

The local students will be competing against hundreds of other student entrepreneurs from all over Ireland in Croke Park at the Annual Student Enterprise Programme National Finals on May 1. 

Further information around the Student Enterprise Programme is available from www.studententerprise.ie and by searching #studententerprise on social media.

Photos from the event can be viewed on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/LEOOffaly 

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