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Young Cork boffins urged to show some enterprise

Students from local schools challenged to ‘do the business’ in enterprise competition

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The ‘Smooth Remove’ team from Boherbue Comprehensive, which won the national senior category at the 2019 Student Enterprise Programme awards.

The ‘Smooth Remove’ team from Boherbue Comprehensive, which won the national senior category at the 2019 Student Enterprise Programme awards.

The ‘Smooth Remove’ team from Boherbue Comprehensive, which won the national senior category at the 2019 Student Enterprise Programme awards.

corkman

ENTERPRISING students from schools across Cork have been challenged to show they have what it takes to become the next generation of successful Irish entrepreneurs.

Now in its 20th year the Student Enterprise Programme offers young boffins a platform to create and promote their own mini-businesses and pit their knowledge and entrepreneurial skills against their peers from across the country.

An initiative of the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) the competition has seen more than 300,000 students, including more than 12,000 from Cork, participate over the past two-decades.

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Funded through Enterprise Ireland and delivered by the 31 LEO’s in local authorities across the country, the 2020/21 edition of the competition saw 425 students from 15 school across North Cork take part.

It is envisaged that the 2oth edition of the competition will attract a similar, if not greater, level of interest from local schools.

The region has enjoyed its fair share of success in the competition over the years, most recently in 2019 when two locals schools picked up prestigious awards at the national finals.

In addition to scooping the top award in the highly competitive senior category, the Boherbue team also won the award for the most creative business on social media.

Like any good ideas their ‘Smooth Remove’ project was as simple as it was ingenious. The student designed an ergonomic wooden device that allows people with back problems or mobility issues to comfortably remove their shoes.

The team from the Presentation College in Mitchelstown picked up the Best Display award with their ‘Wrap It Up’ project, which made reusable sandwich bags from old cloth.

As in previous year’s teams will compete across three categories – junior, intermediate and senior – with judging taking place virtually trough electronic submissions.

Each student enterprise is challenged with creating, setting up and running their own business, which must show sales of their service or product.

Senior entrants can also enter the Most Creative Business Idea video competition, with a My Entrepreneurial Journey awards also up for grabs in the junior and intermediate categories.

Kevin Curran, head of enterprise with the Leo Cork North & West, urged pupils from local schools to don their thinking caps and get creative.

“The Student Enterprise Programme continues to go from strength-to-strength year on year and the 20th year promises to be no different. In recent years we have seen students react to create businesses that are solving real world problems, whether it be pandemic related or within sustainability and the green agenda,” said Mr Curran.

“Our students don’t want to just create a business, but a business that makes a difference in the world and it’s fantastic to see. We are looking forward to seeing what this year’s students have to offer,” he added.

The Student Enterprise Programme has new range of online resources for 2021 / 2022 at www.StudentEnterprise.ie, which will feature regular blogs and houses a full range of resources for students and teachers.


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