This year's Limerick final took place virtually
TEENAGE entrepreneurs from Newcastlewest and Castletroy will represent Limerick at this year’s Student Enterprise Programme National Final, it has been announced.
As with last year’s event, the final will take place virtually, on May 14, with approximately 80 finalists logging in all over the country.
An estimated 750 students from 19 schools across Limerick took part in the annual programme locally with the Limerick final taking place earlier this month.
Funded through Enterprise Ireland, the programme is delivered by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices throughout the country,
Alex Massey and Emma O'Connell of Desmond College, Newcastle West will represent Limerick in the Junior category with their entry 'Personalised Portraits'.
Rebecca Campbell and Ebony Reihana, also of Desmond College, have qualified in the intermediate category with their entry entitled 'Fridge.LY'.
In the Senior category, Limerick will be represented by two more students from Desmond College - Emma O'Shea and Rebecca Enright - with their entry 'Zero Fog'.
Another national finalist will be Jack Fitzgerald from Castletroy College who came out on top in the 'Most Creative Business Idea' section for his idea Garden Buddy.
Special guests at the Limerick Final, which took place virtually, included Cllr Michael Collins, Mayor of the City and County of Limerick; Mike Cantwell Head of Enterprise in LEO Limerick and Garry Lowe of Whizzkids Training.
There were also interviews with local entrepreneurs Aoife McNamara of aoifeIreland.com fame, and celebrity chef Eoin Sheehan of Country Munch and TV demo fame.
Limerick has had previous success in the competition with all four teams representing Limerick at the Student Enterprise Programme National Finals picking up awards.
Jack Fitzgerald of Castletroy College, took second place in the 'My Entrepreneurial Journey' competition; Olivia Rugala of Desmond College Newcastle West, received the Special Merit Award in the Junior category for her idea EZ Tie Close; Alex Healy from Cholaiste Chiarain, Croom, picked up Most Commercially Viable Business in the Intermediate Category for her Comestibles idea while Ross O’Shea and Thomas Lillis from Villiers School scooped the prize for 'Best Commercial Potential' for their initiative Agrimech.
Speaking at the county final, Mike Cantwell congratulated the students, saying: "We have a very successful student enterprise programme here in Limerick with over 750 students from 19 local schools taking part this year. Our national finalists are excellent ambassadors for the programme and we wish them the very best of luck. We’ll all be logged on to support them."
In what has been a particularly challenging year for students, he says the programme has offered them an outlet outside of the usual school demands.
"What our students are learning from the programme is that with the right supports and encouragement, they can take an idea from the classroom and develop it into a real-life business. The skills they learn along the way, such as business planning, market research, selling and team-work, will help them become more entrepreneurial throughout their future careers,” said Mr Cantwell.
The local students will be competing against hundreds of other student entrepreneurs from all over Ireland at the Student Enterprise Programme National Final, taking place virtually on May 14.
Further information around the Student Enterprise Programme is available from studententerprise.ie and by searching #studententerprise on social media.
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