Sacred Heart students Leah Keogh, Eva Barnett and Luisa Woods receiving their Student Enterprise award last year from Minister Pat Breen T.D. on left is their teacher, Catherine Horan.
Local secondary school students have their sights set on a Croke Park Final in May in the Local Enterprise Office’s Student Enterprise Programme for 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 on May 3rd.
Over 1100 students from 17 secondary schools in Louth are taking part in this year’s Student Enterprise Programme that was launched this week by Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen, T.D., and rugby star Josh Van Der Flier who is Student Enterprise Programme Ambassador for this year.
Ireland’s largest second level business 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.
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Louth has a strong track record when it comes to being successful student entrepreneurs. Last year students from Sacred Heart Secondary School in Drogheda won an award at the Student Enterprise Programme National Finals in Croke Park in May 2018.
Leah Keogh, Eva Barnett and Luisa Woods who worked under the guidance of their teacher, Catherine Horan won the Best Commercial Potential Award in the Intermediate Category. (see photo above).
Their student enterprise was called: ‘Makes Cents’, which developed a pre-paid, cashless payment card aimed at teenagers. This project had also been previously selected as a winner of the PFS Junior FinTech Awards 2018.
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” he said. “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.”
Thomas McEvoy from the Local Enterprise Office in Louth 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.”
For more information on Local Enterprise Office programmes and initiatives supporting enterprise log on to www.LocalEnterprise.ie