Tuesday 18 June 2019

Student entrepreneur wins top prize

Ava Gilmartin with the Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Anthony Lavin trying out her invention
Ava Gilmartin with the Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Anthony Lavin trying out her invention

A student entrepreneur from Fingal has won an award at the national Student Enterprise Programme (SEP) finals in Croke Park organised by the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) for secondary schools.

Ava Gilmartin from Malahide Portmarnock Educate Together took the first prize in the Junior category with 'SpecRest'; a device for conveniently storing eyewear.      

The enterprise education initiative delivered by the 31 LEOs in local authorities is the most successful student enterprise programme of its kind in the country.

Schools around Ireland begin their entrepreneurial journey every year with the help of their teachers, student enterprise co-ordinators and their local LEO.

Fingal accounted for 2,700 of these students, making the Fingal competition by far the biggest in the country.

This year's SEP attracted 22,000 student participants from 620 secondary schools around the country.

The year-long programme helps each student to gain the skills and practical knowledge of running a real-life business.

Congratulating the local student on her award win, Oisín Geoghegan, Chair of the LEO Network and Head of Enterprise at LEO Fingal said: 'I am delighted that one of our Fingal young entrepreneurs has been recognised with a National award this year.

'We had three great entrants this year and they all did exceptionally well at the judging process at National level. Fingal continues to lead the way in the national Student Enterprise Programme with over 2,700 secondary students participating this year, from 29 schools.'

Further awards were presented for intellectual property awareness by the Irish Patents Office and for social media by Essential French.

Twenty students in the Senior category also won a place at the residential Business Bootcamp in Delphi Resort, Co. Galway at the beginning of June, to help them further develop their business skills.

The Student Enterprise Programme is co-ordinated by the Local Enterprise Offices and involves over 26,000 students from 490 secondary schools every year.

It runs from September to May and the 2018/2019 National Final takes place on Friday, May 3rd, 2019 in Dublin's Croke Park.

The Local Enterprise Offices are co-funded by the Irish Government through Enterprise Ireland and the European Regional Development Fund.

Fingal Independent