Sunday 19 August 2018

Dog days help pupils build business skills

Dog walkers (l-r) Zarah Coyne, Amy Walsh, and Melissa O’Reilly. Photo: Jerry Kennelly
Dog walkers (l-r) Zarah Coyne, Amy Walsh, and Melissa O’Reilly. Photo: Jerry Kennelly
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

It's one of Ireland's smallest rural schools - but with a determined principal at the helm promoting junior entrepreneurship there's a new vision for a village to maintain its brightest and best.

Naomh Uile national school in Moorneen, Cleggan, Co Galway, has a register of only 14 pupils and one teacher.

But school principal Mary Aspell believes the village's future lies within its children learning how to run their own businesses from a young age.

She introduced the Junior Entrepreneur Programme (JEP), into the school. "We see so many young people leaving our country and we wanted to see if there was anything that could be done to help them stay in their own community," she said.

The pupils set about researching, decision-making and forming a team. One of the young entrepreneurs, Amy Walsh, said: "We put up posters and people rang us if they wanted us to walk their dogs.

"We charged a fiver per walk and feed and the business helped us also, because we were walking more while the dog owners were able to keep busy working."

School principal Mary Aspell. Photo: Jerry Kennelly
School principal Mary Aspell. Photo: Jerry Kennelly

The Junior Entrepreneur Programme has an alumni of 40,000 young members. The programme lasts up to 16 weeks and each child invests a small amount of capital and receives their share of the profits.

Irish Independent

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