Kanturk student entrepeneurs selected to represent north Cork at Student Enterprise Awards national final

The Scoil Mhuire team and their teacher from Kanturk's Scoil Mhuire who won the Best Overall Company award at the regional final of the Cork North Student Enterprise Programme are pictured with Kevin Curran Head of Enterprise LEO Mallow, Joan Kelleher, Event Organiser LEO, Gary Lowe Event Co-Ordinator. judges Tadgh Curtis and Valerie Murphy and Student Enterprise Ambassador Sean Finn.

Concubhar Ó LiatháinCorkman

Teenage entrepreneurs from Scoil Mhuire in Kanturk will represent North Cork at this year’s Student Enterprise Programme National Finals, it has been announced by the region’s Locel Enterprise Office (LEO).

The finals make a return to Croke Park on Friday, May 5, for the first time since 2019.

In the Senior category of the national competition, North Cork will be represented by Oisin Bourke, Jack Hooper, Rachel Morton, Ava Fisher and Kathlyn Morrissey from ‘Plant and I’ team, Scoil Mhuire Kanturk. The students all took part in the North Cork Final last week at Springfort Hall Hotel. an event which was attended by hurling All Star and Student Enterprise Programme Ambassador Sean Finn.

Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Danny Collins congratulated the students who participated in the event and spoke about the particularly challenging couple of years the students had endured and how the Enterprise Programme had offered them an outlet outside the usual school demands.

“What 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 teamwork, will help them become more entrepreneurial throughout their future careers.”

The enterprise education initiative, funded by the Government of Ireland through Enterprise Ireland and delivered by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices in local authorities throughout the country, saw over 25,000 students from just under 500 secondary schools across the country take part in 2021 / 2022.

The programme supports students to create, design and market their own business, all with the hope of reaching the National Finals.

Kevin Curran, Head of Enterprise, Local Enterprise Office North Cork said the region’s schools had had great success with various projects including ‘Smooth Remove’ From Boherbue Community School which had gone on to win the national award in 2019 in the highly competitive senior catergory.  Other awards won included the win in the Best Display category by  Presentation Secondary School, Mitchelstown, with its project entitled ‘Wrap it Up’. Boherbue also won the National Innovation Award last year with ‘Pole Pals’.

"We are very proud of the calibre of entries this year and look forward to supporting our finalists in Dublin,” he said.

Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey said North Cork had a very successful Student Enterprise Programme with over 650 students from 15 local schools taking part this year.

"Our national finalists are excellent ambassadors for the programme and we wish them the very best of luck at the final at Croke Park on May 5.”

The Student Enterprise Programme is co-ordinated by the Local Enterprise Offices and involves approximately 25,000 students from 500 secondary schools every year. It runs from September to May and the 2022/2023 National Final takes place online on May 5.

Since the Student Enterprise Programme began in 2003, over 350,000 students have taken part, learning key skills on how to create a business idea, start a business and grow a business. The Student Enterprise Programme also has new range of online resources for 2022 / 2023 at www.StudentEnterprise.ie, which will feature regular blogs and houses a full range of Student Enterprise resources for students and teachers.

The north Cork schools participating in the Student Enterprise Programme inclue Boherbue School, CBS Charleville, St. Mary's Charleville, Nagle Rice School Doneraile, Loreto School, Fermoy, Colaiste an Chraobhin, St. Colman's, Fermoy, Colaiste Treasa, Kanturk, Scoil Mhuire, Kanturk, Davis College, Mallow, St Mary’s Mallow, Colaiste Mhuire Buttevant, Patrician Academy, Mallow, CBS Mitchelstown and Presentation, Mitchelstown.