Galway students set for Student Enterprise Programme final

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Teenage entrepreneurs from four Galway schools will represent the county at this year’s Student Enterprise Programme National Final.

Local Enterprise Office Galway announced that winning entrepreneurs from Holy Rosary College, Coláiste Éinde, Merlin College and Coláiste an Chreagáin will compete against around 80 student enterprises across Ireland.

The top 15 shortlisted teams will make it to a live event on Wednesday 18 May at The Helix in Dublin.

This year’s live final will be the first in-person event since 2019, and it also marks the 20th anniversary of the Student Enterprise Programme.

An estimated 1,100 students from 29 schools took part in the annual programme locally.

In the Intermediate Category, Tane Noel, Daniel Deliv, Harry Faherty, Laoise McHugh, Colin O’Connor, Luke O’Cualain, Ruari O’Conghaile, Louise McDonagh, Jack Walsh, Mikey Mullery from ‘Pocket Dynamo’ at Coláiste Éinde will be representing the county at the national Final.

In the Senior Category of the competition, James Donohue and Paul Mannion from ‘Know Your Phone’ at Holy Rosary College will represent the county at the National Final.

In the “My Entrepreneurial Journey” category open to junior and intermediate students, Béibhínn Maher from Coláiste an Chreagáin will represent Galway at the National Final.

And in the “Most Creative Business Idea” section, Luis Rauner from Merlin College came out on top.

His idea called ‘Heat The Feet’ would utilise outdoor gyms to produce electricity to a central charging point. This electricity will be used to heat electric sleeping bags for homeless people.

This will improve one’s fitness and wellbeing as well as improve the wellbeing of homeless people.

Special guests at the County Final last week included Galway City Mayor Collette Connolly, Gráinne Mullins, founder of Grá Chocolates, Valerie Kelly, LEO Development Officer, Basil Fenton, Student Enterprise Adjudicator and P.J. Mullin, Student Enterprise  Coordinator from WhizzKids Training.

2021 was a very successful year for Galway, as ‘Go Green Now’ from Salerno Secondary School won the Junior category and Louis Thomas from Coláiste Bhaile Chláir won the Creative Business Idea competition with his idea, ‘The Pocket Mask Cleaner’

Speaking at the county final, Valerie Kelly of Local Enterprise Office Galway congratulated the students, saying there is a very successful student enterprise programme in Galway, with over 1,100 students from 29 local schools taking part this year.

“Our national finalists are excellent ambassadors for the programme and we wish them the very best of luck in the National Final 2022,” she said.

“In what has been a particularly challenging couple of years for students 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”.