All eyes on the prize Neasa learns the easy way
A STUDENT has won the title of Young Entrepreneur of the Year and scooped a cash prize of €5,000 for her idea of a tutoring and mentoring service.
Neasa Fitzpatrick from Colaiste Na Sceilige, Caherciveen, won the prize after presenting her idea to a panel of judges in a nailbiting Dragon's Den-style final. Ms Fitzpatrick put forward her idea of 'Learn2Learn', a tutorial service for Junior Cert students.
The judges who had to choose the winner from 10 shortlisted students' ideas were Aer Arann's Padraig O Ceidigh and Mike Fitzgerald, the Altobridge chief executive. The awards were held at the Malton Hotel in Killarney and the winners were announced at the end of the night by MC Sile Seoige. The occasion marked the end of the first year of the Young Entrepreneur Programme (YEP), which was developed by the Institute of Technology, Tralee (ITT) and Shannon Development's Kerry Technology Park (KTP). The programme encourages young people to look at entrepreneur-ship as a career choice.
After receiving her award, Ms Fitzpatrick said: "The business plan was a lot of work, but once I got into I got a real buzz out of it." Jerry Kennelly, who spearheads the YEP, said nurturing entrepreneurs was vital for the country's economic growth. Ms Fitzpatrick is pictured after receiving her award with Mr O Ceidigh, left, and Mr Kennelly.