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GALLERY Enterprising Clare students head for Croke Park

Special Award for Innovative Concept - La Joie (St Caimins Shannon) L-R Sophie Bolger, Saoirse Young, Rachel Swire and Siobhra Conway  pictured at the Award Ceremony in The Treacys West County Hotel Ennis on Thursday.Pic Arthur Ellis.

Special Award for Innovative Concept – La Joie (St Caimins Shannon) L-R Sophie Bolger, Saoirse Young, Rachel Swire and Siobhra Conway pictured at the Award Ceremony in The Treacys West County Hotel Ennis on Thursday.Pic Arthur Ellis.

More than 250 secondary school students from across Clare participated in the County Final of the Student Enterprise Awards at Treacys West County Hotel in Ennis today.

Hosted by the Local Enterprise Office Clare, the Awards Scheme forms part of Clare’s Student Enterprise Programme which seeks to stimulate the creation of real-life businesses in secondary schools by encouraging students to research and manage their own business, with support from local business mentors.

The Clare County Final saw students present 76 enterprise ideas at various stalls throughout the awards ceremony venue with prizes being awarded in nine categories.

The 1st prize winners of the Junior, Intermediate and Senior Categories will go on to represent Clare in the National Final of the Student Enterprise Awards which takes place in Croke Park Dublin on Wednesday, 22nd April.

Student Enterprise Awards Winners:
Junior Category Winners – 1st Luxury Bags (St Anne’s Community College Killaloe), 2nd Buí Beauty (Scoil Mhuire Ennistymon), 3rd Nifty Knots (Scoil Mhuire Ennistymon).
Intermediate Category Winners – 1st Blissful Beauty (St Michael Community College Kilmihil), 2nd iCases (Scoil Mhuire Ennistymon) 3rd Little Treats (St. Michael’s Community College Kilmihil).
Senior Category Winners – 1st Ace Devices (St Caimins Shannon), 2nd The Unsinkables (St Patrick’s Comprehensive Shannon), 3rd Custom Clock-In (Rice College Ennis).
Special Award for Business Plan – Galaxy Adventure & Comics (St Josephs Tulla).
Special Award for Best Stand Presentation – Clean Slate Design (St Flannan’s College Ennis).
Special Award for Innovative Concept – La Joie (St Caimins Shannon).
Teachers Prize – Tara Rynne (Ennistymon CBS).
Adjudicators Prize – Crazy Maze (Rice College Ennis).
Best Design – Luke Howley Woodturning (Ennistymon Vocational School).

Addressing students gathered at the awards ceremony, Leas Cathaoirleach Cllr. Tony O’Brien stated: “This Awards scheme encourages our young people to develop their ideas and for that reason alone, it has been a valuable life experience for them all.”

“The Government’s Action Plan for Jobs 2015 has a number of actions in relation to job creation which includes developing an enterprising culture in our schools. I would hope that the Student Enterprise Awards will lead to many students considering setting up their own business in the future,” added Cllr. O’Brien.

Student Enterprise Awards Winners: Junior Category Winners - 1st Luxury Bags (St Anne's Community College Killaloe) Thomas Buckley, Gearoid Guilfoyle, Dawid Chojnacki and Mateusz Bogusiak pictured at the awards ceremony at The Treacys west County Hotel Ennis on Thursday.Pic Arthur Ellis.

Student Enterprise Awards Winners:
Junior Category Winners – 1st Luxury Bags (St Anne’s Community College Killaloe) Thomas Buckley, Gearoid Guilfoyle, Dawid Chojnacki and Mateusz Bogusiak pictured at the awards ceremony at The Treacys west County Hotel Ennis on Thursday.Pic Arthur Ellis.

“This year the county final has been a huge success with 250 students participating on 76 projects. The mentor visits provided by the LEO Clare for each team to work with a business consultant to help with their mini-company has also proven very beneficial to students getting their business plans completed,” said Betty Devanny, LEO Clare.

She continued: “Participation in the Student Enterprise Awards Programme is a great learning opportunity for students as they gain invaluable, on the ground experience outside of the conventional classroom environment.  The role of the teacher involved is also of great importance.”

“I want to congratulate all of the students and their schools for participating in this programme. I also wish to acknowledge the role of Sinead Dixon, Co-ordinator of Student Enterprise Awards,” added Ms. Devanny.

The County Final of the Student Enterprise Awards attracted a prize fund in excess of €1,000. The awards were adjudicated on by Harriet Cotter (Enterprise Ireland), Seamus O’Sullivan (Business Mentor), Damian Barrow (Accountant) and John Quinlivan (Business Consultant).

Combining the resources of the Clare County Enterprise Board and Clare County Council’s business support unit, LEO Clare is one of 31 LEOs around Ireland that are tasked with delivering services and support to businesses within a framework set by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and overseen by Enterprise Ireland. LEO Clare, Áras Contae an Chláir, Ennis, Co. Clare, can be contacted on 065-6821616 / localenterprise@clarecoco.ie. See http://www.localenterprise.ie/clare for more.

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