Student entrepreneurs across Limerick city and county have begun their journey in this year’s Student Enterprise Programme, with eyes on next year’s National Final. This Local Enterprise Office (LEO) run programme will be delivered differently, given the current restrictions across the country, and the Grand Final, which will take place on Friday 14th May 2021, will be a virtual one.
This is 18th year of Ireland’s largest secondary school entrepreneurship programme and has seen over 200,000 students take part since it began. The final usually takes place in Croke Park, but for 2021, the event will take place online in line with current Covid-19 guidelines.
The students will compete across three categories: Junior, Intermediate and Senior, and will see judging take place virtually via electronic submissions. Each student enterprise is challenged with creating, setting up and running their own business, which must show sales of their service or product.
The programme will also include two additional categories that students can enter. These are the Most Creative Business Idea video competition for the senior category and the My Entrepreneurial Journey category for the Junior and Intermediate categories.
The schools from Limerick taking part this year are:
- Ardscoil Mhuire
- Ardscoil Rís
- Coláiste Mhichíl, CBS Sexton Street
- Castletroy College
- Coláiste Chiaráin
- Coláiste Íde agus Iosaf
- Coláiste Iósaef
- Coláiste Mhuire
- Colaiste na Trócaire
- Desmond College
- Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh
- Glenstal Abbey
- Hazelwood College
- John the Baptist Community School
- Laurel Hill
- Salesians Pallaskenry
- Scoil na Tríonóide Naofa,
- Scoil Mhuire Agus Íde
- Scoil Pól
- St. Clement’s
- St. Munchin’s
- Thomond Community College
- Villiers School
More than 1,000 students from 23 secondary schools in Limerick are expected to take part in the programme, which is funded by the Government of Ireland through Enterprise Ireland and delivered by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices in local authorities throughout the country
Nationally more than 25,000 students from over 500 secondary schools across the country take part last year.
Limerick has had previous success in the competition with all four teams representing Limerick at the Student Enterprise Programme National Finals picking up awards in 2020.
- Jack Fitzgerald of Castletroy College took second place in the My Entrepreneurial Journey Competition
- Olivia Rugala of EZ Tie Close of Desmond College Newcastle West, received the Special Merit Award in the Junior category
- Alex Healy of Comestibles from Coláiste Chiaráin, Croom, picked up Most Commercially Viable Business in the Intermediate Category
- Ross O’Shea and Thomas Lillis of Agrimech from Villiers School scooped Best Commercial Potential in the Senior Category
Mike Cantwell, Head of Enterprise in LEO Limerick said; “These are unprecedented times for our students and this year’s competition is giving them the opportunity to create businesses that can make an impact in the current real-world scenario.”
“We are encouraging students to come up with business ideas that are adapted to the existing enterprise challenges and that are sustainable in today’s economic climate. With this in mind the programme has changed and even though the way it is being delivered (which is mainly online), is different, the students will still be able to work together in their school setting to develop their businesses.”
“This will be our most challenging year to date in the Student Enterprise Programme’s history, but it will be exciting to see what new world businesses our students bring to the table.”
Since the Student Enterprise Programme began in 2003, over 200,000 students have taken part, learning key skills on how to create a business idea, start a business and grow a business. The Student Enterprise Programme also has new range of online resources for 2020/ 2021 at www.StudentEnterprise.ie, which will feature regular blogs and houses a full range of Student Enterprise resources for students and teachers.