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School start-ups reap profits of almost €200k

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From left to right: Sean Shefflin, Emma Connolly and Christopher Ging of Scoil Phadraig, Ballyhale, Co Kilkenny, with their Coffee Scrub product. Photo: Jerry Kennelly

From left to right: Sean Shefflin, Emma Connolly and Christopher Ging of Scoil Phadraig, Ballyhale, Co Kilkenny, with their Coffee Scrub product. Photo: Jerry Kennelly

From left to right: Sean Shefflin, Emma Connolly and Christopher Ging of Scoil Phadraig, Ballyhale, Co Kilkenny, with their Coffee Scrub product. Photo: Jerry Kennelly

As the school year draws to a close, enterprising primary pupils around the country are still counting the cash from their classroom companies.

The 16,000 11- and 12-year-olds who took part in the Junior Entrepreneur Programme (JEP) in 2018/19 hit record-breaking sales worth at least €320,264, with profits of €198,215.

A mixture of creativity, hard work and a willingness to invest some of their own cash produced hundreds of start-ups.

The JEP programme, now in its 10th year, culminated in an All-Ireland Showcase day in the RDS recently, where, 5,500 pupils from 30 counties displayed their projects.

Among those showing their talents were pupils from Scoil Phadraig , Ballyhale, Co Kilkenny, whose skin scrub made from discarded coffee beans turned a profit of €1,100, with sales continuing to thrive.

A 308-page quiz book called 'Beat the Quiz Master by Scoil Na Mbraithre in Tuam, Co Galway, containing 3,000 questions for children and adults, was the biggest profit-spinner, yielding €8,799 from €12,000 in sales.

The 'Class of the Year' award went to pupils of teacher Fiona Santry at Castlemartyr National School, Co Cork for their 'GalackTyco Trading Cards'. a set of cards that sold for €2. Their idea is based around warring characters seeking control of their fictional GalackTyco galaxy. Every pupil invested in the venture and they finally netted a profit of €717 from sales of €1,118.

Like any new company, JEP start-ups involve market research, marketing, sales, finance and production teams. In a survey, 85pc of teachers said that JEP enhanced the teaching of maths. In all, 600 primary school, North and South, got involved this year.

Irish Independent