Young entrepreneurs in a third level institute in the city have been able to develop their business ideas, help their college and spread Christmas joy in one single event.
On Monday November 25, students from LIT launched a Christmas Market at the Moylish campus, which boasted products from 40 student-run companies.
The event, known as ‘MarketLink Entrepreneur’, was organised by students across all departments within LIT.
Donnacha McNamara, Head of Business at LIT, said: “MarketLink Entrepreneur is an ideal starting point for students who may have an interest in establishing their own business or to work in a family business at some stage in the future.”
He added: “This culture of enterprise and entrepreneurial thinking is central to the country’s future competitiveness.”
In addition to seed capital, the students received training in operating a market stall from the vendors of Limerick’s Milk Market as well as expert advice in running a start-up company from LIT’s Business Department.
Armed with €150 start up cash each, 250 entrepreneurs of the future were tasked with setting up firms to sell traditional Christmas gifts such as toys, cards and hand crafts.
“The programme is designed to encourage students to develop business ideas, and instil valuable entrepreneurial attributes such as creativity and determination,” according to organisers.
All proceeds from the market will go to charities chosen by the departments involved, which include: The Jack & Jill foundation, Pieta House and The Simon Community.
Mrs Maria Hinfelaar, President of LIT, commented, “The project is not just for students in the Department of Business, but students from each faculty in the Institute can take part.”
She added: “Now in its fourth year, ‘MarketLink Entrepreneur’ is designed to engage with students on a structured basis allowing for entrepreneurial behaviours, skills and attitudes to be developed on a practical basis.”
A Shannon Consortium initiative, MarketLink Entrepreneur represents a collaboration between LIT’s Department of Business, Careers Office and the Enterprise Acceleration Centre (EAC).
According to an Mr McNamara, the event was “a great success” with hopes to make it an annual event.