Second-levels schools from across county take part in Student Enterprise Awards programme
Sligo News File Online
Twenty-nine teams of young young Sligo entrepeneurs descended on the Sligo Park Hotel earlier this month to participate in Local Enterprise Office Sligo’s Student Enterprise Awards, part of the National Student Enterprise Awards Programme.
Increased signs of growth and confidence in enterprise were plainly evident, said
the organisers, with students from 29 mini-companies, representing 9 Sligo second-
level schools competing in the event.
According to Stephen Walshe of Local Enterprise Office Sligo,
“students participating in the competition continue to go the extra
mile in generating innovative business ideas for their mini-companies.
He said: “The Network of Local Enterprise Offices promote
entrepreneurship in the classroom through the National Student
Enterprise Awards Competition, in which the students compete
to County and National Level.
“The aim of the Awards is to promote entreneurship, raising the
possibility of running their own business in for students as
something they could consider in future years even after college or
“Every year our Sligo County Final exemplifies the tremendous work
undertaken by the participating students, who rise to the challenge of setting up and running a business within the timeframe of the competition, and often, they continue to run the business beyond it.
“Each year, we are consistently impressed at the quality of entries, and it is now the norm to see students dealing with suppliers over the ‘phone or via the internet, sub-contracting out the manufacturing of their product, utilising the internet and social media effectively to both market, and in certain cases, sell their product or service.”
Teacher Ruth Tighe is in her first year competing in the Student Enterprise Awards Programme, with a group of first year students from Ursuline College, Sligo. She assists her students as they learn skills such as teamwork, decision making and financial management through the competition.
“A major plus of this Awards Programme is the practical skills the students acquire through participating.” says Ms. Tighe who goes on to explain the “level of work and commitment required by the students in order to compete at a high level.
“We start work in partnership with Local Enterprise Office Sligo in September, looking at areas like idea generation, market research, costing and pricing, among others. They provide a School co-ordinator, who visits the schools and provides guidance to the students. Brian Dolan was this years co-ordinator, and he has definintely played a part in our receiving the Overall Winner Junior Category Award…
“The roles in each company have to be agreed upon and the teams have to work together, meeting deadlines and taking on responsibilities. There is a lot of assistance available in the Student Workbooks, and on the competition website – www.studententerprise.ie. Our groups of students quickly realised
they would have to work together outside of school hours in order to get everything done.”
The level of work she speaks of was evident on the day, said Mr. Walshe. “Each team of students from participating schools showcased their mini companies with comprehensive display stands and well prepared interview responses for the judges.”
Judges were Liam Kiely of Local Enterprise Office Sligo and Nicola McManus of Local Enterprise Office Leitrim.
Coola Post-Primary School took the Overall Winner Award in the Senior Category with their The ‘Brain Box’ mini-company. This was selected by the judges “primarily due to the unique nature of their product – a pack of playing cards featuring project maths problems. The cards are a function of ‘tactile learning’ – where students learn by carrying out activities rather than the traditional ‘pen & paper’ method.”
The full breakdown of winners was:
Overall Winner ( Senior Level ) – ‘Brain Box’ , Coola Post-Primary
Runner-up (Senior Level ) ‘Inis Oige’, Jesus & Mary Secondary School, Enniscrone
Third Place – ‘SPC Calendars’, Jesus & Mary Secondary School, Enniscrone
Innovation Award – ‘Shield’, Mercy College
Social Media Award – ‘Balanced Bites’, Grange Post-Primary School
Special Merit Award – ‘Leite’, St. Mary’s College Ballisodare
Best Report Award – ‘That’s for U’, Summerhill College, Sligo
Best Interview Award – ‘Viesca Jewellery’ Sligo Grammar
Best Display Award – ‘Calligraphy Creations’ Ursuline College
Overall Winner (Intermediate Level) – ‘Bluetooth Speakers’, Colaiste Iascaigh
Overall Winner (Junior Level) – ‘Let’s get Signing’, Ursuline College.
The Local Enterprise Office’s National Student Enterprise Awards Final takes place in Croke Park Conference Centre in Dublin on 22 April 2015
ONLY THREE PICS. WERE CIRCULATED TO US.