Student Enterprise Awards County Final 2018

Student Enterprise Awards County Final 2018

The Student Enterprise Programme County Final 2018 took place in The Great National Hotel Ballina, on Tuesday the 20th of March.  Schools from all over the county took part following their regional success in February.  Seventeen schools in total participated in Tuesday’s event, where the ballroom of The Great National Hotel was transformed into an enterprising hub.  John Magee Head of Enterprise with the Local Enterprise Office regards this competition “as a hugely important part of building a culture of Entrepreneurship in County Mayo, with the key outcome for the students to learn that they can move from an idea, then start and grow their own business.

The day began with the students setting up their products for display, it was clear a lot of work went into all the displays with freshly baked cupcakes from Sugar Shack Cupcakes of Scoil Muire agus Padraig Swinford, and a working milking cow from Sea Feed – Gortnor Abbey Crossmolina.  Once the displays were set the judges meet with each group and spoke to them regarding their product.  This is an important part of the competition as the judges get to see the passion and drive the students have for their product.  Four girls from Colaite Pobail Acla, created their business around a metal work product, while also emphasising the need for girls to work in metal work and study it in school Emma a student said “ they seriously improved their metal work skills and are now looking into careers in engineering.”

The Student Enterprise Programme builds confidence in young people through many different avenues and a special part of the day was the guest speaker Mr Nigel O’Reilly a local goldsmith with a world renowned name.  Nigel spoke to the students about his own entrepreneurial endeavours and encouraged them to seek a specific skill in their area of interest and build a business from there.    Following Nigel’s presentation it was the turn of the top ten student companies to take to the stage and do a two minute presentation to their peers, teachers and attending guests.   Every student who took to the stage presented their companies clearly with the aid of a slideshow.   A lot goes into taking part in Student Enterprise and none of it could happen without the help of the Teachers.  Speaking to two of the teachers Mr Colm Doyle and Ms Lisa Connolly both of Our Lady Belmullet they felt that Student Enterprise “gives opportunities to students who wouldn’t be into sport and the like and also gives students the knowhow, to applying the knowledge they learn to real life situations.”

Following on from the teachers Annette Maunghan the Community Employment Supervisor and Operations Manager at Moy Valley Resources, applauded the students on their “enthusiasm, positivity, creativity and confidence to take part in the Student Enterprise Programme.   Moy Valley Resources themselves love to deliver the programme and an added bonus is that the students get to make money of their own and see what goes into running a business”.

The winners now go on to represent Mayo in the National Final’s in May being held in Croke Park Dublin.            

                        Junior – Life Charms , Our Lady’s Belmullet

                        Intermediate – Comfy Hands Healthcare, Our Lady’s Belmullet

                        Senior – Back to Basics, The Convent Ballina

The Student Enterprise Programme is an invaluable competition that helps to create the Entrepreneurs of the next generation, they get a practical, hands-on taste of real life business, while hopefully making a little money and having lots of fun.


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