Galway students triumph at enterprise awards for successful business ideas

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galway daily news galway students from moutbellew at the student enterprise awards with their book know your phone
James Donoghue and Paul Mannion from Holy Rosary College in Mountbellew, second place winners in the senior category at the National Student Enterprise Finals

Two Galway students have taken second prize in the Senior category in this year’s Student Enterprise Programme for an intriguing book which helps people to use their smartphones effectively.

James Donoghue and Paul Mannion from Holy Rosary College in Mountbellew were announced as the runners-up at a ceremony in Dublin yesterday for the book titled ‘Know Your Phone’.

The student enterprise has been a rousing success so far, with sales of over €9,000.

Galway students also succeeded in the ‘Creative Business Idea’ competition, which gave students a chance to showcase their most innovative business ideas via a video pitch, without having to produce a product or service. 

The winner in the Senior category was ‘Heat the Feet’ by Luis Rauner, a student at Merlin College in Galway city.

The Natasha Lynch Memorial Awards for Excellence in Social Media went to Paddy McGrath and Callum Lally of ‘LMG Sports’ from Presentation College Athenry.

This year, over 24,000 students from almost 500 secondary schools across Ireland took part in the overall programme.

An Tánaiste, Leo Varadkar, who took part in the ceremony, congratulated the winners and everyone who took part in the programme.

“To be able to create an idea, turn that idea into a business and to grow that business, is a remarkable skill that will stand to you no matter what you end up doing in your career later in life,” he said.

“In Ireland we have always shown great fortitude, determination and grit in times of difficulty and if these students are anything to go by, we have not lost that ability – in fact, I’m more positive than ever about the future and the next generation.”

An Tánaiste also gave a special mention to the teachers and parents who helped the students along the way, and said that we will all benefit from their efforts.

Breda Fox, Head of Enterprise at Local Enterprise Office Galway – which supported and helped to deliver the programme – said that it showcases the very best of Irish ingenuity and entrepreneurship.

“This year produced a varied selection of businesses, from agricultural products and homemade gifts to products that were built on our unique ability to tell compelling stories,” she said.

“We see every year that the National Finals are not an end point for our student entrepreneurs, but a stepping stone on the next stage of their entrepreneurial journey. From our class of 21/22 we will see some business leaders and global entrepreneurs of the future emerge.”

Since the Student Enterprise Programme began in 2003, over 300,000 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 a new range of online resources for 2021/2022 at www.StudentEnterprise.ie.