Enterprising teens into national finals
Students from Kilcoole, Arklow and Carnew will represent Wicklow at the National Final of Student Enterprise Programme at Croke Park in May.
The four teenage entrepreneurs were revealed as winners of the county competition at a special showcase event at Wicklow County Campus in Rathnew on March 12.
After thoroughly examining all the wonderful businesses that made it through to the county final, the judges decided that the winner of the junior category was Holly Eager from Coláiste Chraobh Abhann in Kilcoole with her business Handmade by Holly.
The intermediate winner was Ross Byrne of CBS Arklow with The Wood Whisperer, while the winners of the senior category were Shane Brown and Robert Davey from Coláiste Bhríde, Carnew, and their business The Chop.
An estimated 120 students from 17 schools took part in the annual Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Wicklow programme, with each of them researching, setting-up and running their own real-world businesses.
The participating schools were Coláiste Bhríde, Carnew; Colaíste Chraobh Abhann; East Glendalough; Glenart College; St Kilian's; Loreto Secondary School; Scoil Chonglais;Dominican College; Coláiste Chill Mhantáin; CBS Arklow; Avondale Community College; St Mary's College; St Kevin's Community College; St Gerard's School; Gaelcholáiste Na Mara; Temple Carrig School; and Blessington Community College.
Vibeke Delahunt, Head of Enterprise at LEO Wicklow, congratulated the students on their achievements.
'Our national finalists are excellent ambassadors for the programme and we wish them the very best of luck in Croke Park on May 3,' she said.
'What our 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.'
Special guests at the Wicklow final included Wicklow County Council's leas-cathaoirleach Cllr Irene Winters, the council's Chief Executive Frank Curran and special guest speaker Kate Dempsey.
In addition to the overall winners in the junior, intermediate and senior categories, a number of other awards were presented.
In the junior category, Joshua Bishon and Aharum Smith from J&A Medal Racks at Coláiste Craobh Abhann won best stand while Rebekah Davis, Clodagh Jordan, Kate Wilson and Olivia Ninaro from Wrap N' Swap at Coláiste Craobh Abhann won best report. A special commendation went to Grainne Conway, Robyn Stafford, and Cara Byrne from Glitter Jars at Avondale Community College. The two runner-up spots went to Dale Kearney from DK Candle Holders at Avondale Community College and Sean Byrne and Callum Davis from Classic Candles at Coláiste Craobh Abhann.
In the senior category, an innovation award was presented to Ben Usker, Ben Kelly, and Jordan Killeen of Glenart College for their Student Discount Card Arklow. Jack Brady and Alexander Brady from Loading Livestock Aid at Coláiste Craobh Abhann won best presentation while Ava Vickers, Leah Flynn and Siofra O'Leary from Mix N' Match at Dominican College won best stand/display. The award for best product/service was presented to Hazel Duggan, Freja Kavanagh, Nian Mac Cormaic and Emer O'Toole from Simply Scrunchies at St Mary's College while Jack Brady and Alexander Brady from Loading Livestock Aid at Coláiste Craobh Abhann were acknowledged for intellectual property awareness.
Ruth Ireland and Casey Finnerty from Simple Stories at Coláiste Craobh Abhann won most innovative sale and the social media award was presented to Courtney Horan from Blooming Wild at St Kilian's Community College, Bray.
A special commendation went to Lucy Phipps Rooney and Kayla Devlin of Léarscáil at Coláiste Craobh Abhann while the two runners-up were Jordan Fahy, Roisin Farrell, Phoebe Ferguson, and Jemima Ramsey from JJRP Embroidery at St Gerard's School, Bray, and Thomas Kealy and George Hadden from Bootaholics at Coláiste Bhríde, Carnew.