John McDonnell, the ASTI's subject representative for business studies, believes enterprise awards help to give students practical experience of business.
"These awards help students to apply some of the knowledge they have gained in the classroom.
"It can give them a real feel for business topics such as market research and cash flow.
"You can get students who don't necessarily do well in exams, but they might be very good at running their own business or taking part in one of these competitions.
"The students can learn a lot from showcasing their business. Presentation skills are becoming increasingly important."
* Primary schools have been sent participation packs for the Junior Entrepreneurs Programme. They have until October 25 to return their forms. l More than 150 students from schools in south Cork recently attended the Ideas Generation Workshop, organised by South Cork Schools' Enterprise Programme.