Almost 350 second level students from all over North Cork were put through their paces last week at a new 'Business Bootcamp' style event that was held at the Mallow GAA Complex.
The event was part of the North Cork Schools Enterprise Programme, which encourages students to set up and run a business over the course of the academic year to help them learn all about entrepreneurship.
Some of Cork's most successful business figures and entrepreneurs attended the event in a voluntary capacity to offer advice and guidance to students on running their mini-companies.
Student mini-company teams were given a series of 10 minute question and answer sessions with each business mentor so they could learn key lessons in the following areas of business:
* Understanding your customers and how to give them what they want
* Using social media to promote your business and win customers
* Costing your product/service
* Successful selling
* Event management and PR
* Product development
Mentors gave some great hands-on advice to the students and really got them thinking hard about what it takes to be a success in business today.
In total 14 business mentors took part in the event, including: Maurice O'Keeffe, AIB; Damien Mulley, Mulley Communications; Brian Cahill, Programme Manager, Mallow Systems Innovation Centre (MSIC); Geraldine O'Brien, Subway Mallow: Cathy Fitzgibbon, Cork Independent; Aoibhinn Twomey, Springboard PR; Barry Murphy, NBC Computers; Stephanie Lynch, On the Qt.ie; Dan Murphy, Dan Murphy Life and Pensions; Natasha Lynch, Essential French; Jerome O'Sullivan, Bank of Ireland; Jackie Gowran, Business Mentor & Trainer; Aoife Rigney, Digital Marketing and Social Media; Donal Murphy, Donlouco Engineering; Cllr Dan Joe Fitzgerald , Dan Joe Fitzgerald Mallow Ltd; Joan Kelleher, North Cork Enterprise Board
Speaking at the event, Co-ordinator of the North Cork Schools Enterprise Programme Yvonne O'Neill said they were really delighted with the huge turnout at the event.
"We have almost 350 students from 36 student businesses from all over North Cork brainstorming and networking with some of Cork's most successful business people and entrepreneurs," said Ms O'Neill.
"There was an exhilarating atmosphere in the room here today, plenty of positivity and energy coming from our students, who are really enjoying the experience of being first time entrepreneurs!'
The next event in the North Cork Schools Enterprise calendar is the Christmas Trade Fair which takes place on December 12 at the Green Glens Arena in Millstreet.
There, students will set up stands and put their products and services on display to the public for the first time in an event that always reveals some very innovative and, indeed, profitable enterprises.