Tuesday 20 November 2018

Students of enterprise

Zara Stafford and Tegan Byrne
Zara Stafford and Tegan Byrne
Oscar, Sophie, Laura, Maolíosa, Sophie and Sam
Pupils attend the Youth Enterprise market at County Hall
Sammy Somide, Jordan Murphy, Clodagh Scully, Ruth Regan and Hannah Brady at the Youth Enterprise market at County Hall
Fingal Mayor Mary McCamley with Orla Kelly, Erin O’Connor and Mia Lourenzo at the Youth Enterprise market at County Hall

John Manning

Some of Fingal's most brilliant student entrepreneurs gathered at County Hall recently for some words of wisdom and inspiration from a business tycoon and two local sporting greats as they gathered for the Fingal Youth Enterprise Market.

Fingal Youth Enterprise Market was buzzing with atmosphere as Dragon's Den Gavin Duffy and two sporting heroes, Dubs star, Paddy Andrews and former Irish rugby international and Fingal woman, Lynn Cantwell, arrived at County Hall to share their experiences with the young entrepreneurs.

Fingal's innovative secondary school entrepreneurs gathered at the event, are eager participants in the National Student Enterprise Programme.

The savvy students are running actual businesses, having researched, resourced and now trading services and products, with the guidance of business mentors.

They learnt from the best at an audience with Gavin Duffy of Dragons Den and two sporting heroes to inspire and motivate them on their journey.

In conjunction with Bank of Ireland, this enterprise packed morning with an excellent speaker line-up focused on and promoted entrepreneurship amongst our savvy young business tycoons.

There are 31 Local Enterprise Offices nationwide and Fingal LEO co-ordinates and presents the largest number of participants every year. Now in its sixteenth year, over 2,500 secondary school students from Fingal are competing for a place in the County Finals in March 2018. Category winners will then advance to the National Final in May 2018. This year sees 22,000 students enter nationally.

The Christmas period is a key opportunity for the young entrepreneurs to drive sales and grow their businesses. As with all enterprises, their choice of business model and the challenges they face, will test them to their core. This experience will equip them with a real life business skill set and understanding that they will use in future employment or entrepreneurial ventures.

The secondary schools programme is sponsored, for the seventh consecutive year, by the Dublin and Dun Laoghaire Education and Training Board. 

Oisin Geoghegan, Head of Enterprise, Fingal County Council said: 'Hosting the largest programme in the country, we are proud to say we have seen many successes in the National Finals. We have seen phenomenal growth and this year we are delighted with the record numbers of students, from primary and secondary schools across the region setting up and running their own businesses. The schools, our mentors, local businesses and the sponsors are more than encouraging and every year we can see that students continue on their entrepreneurial journey and indeed set up successful enterprises in post school years.'

Paul Reid, Chief Executive, Fingal County Council added: 'What they gain from this programme is an invaluable insight into the roots of business and a taste of experience in a safe environment. The lessons they learn on this programme will help set them on an entrepreneurial path from a young age.'

Fingal Independent