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Limerick Students set for Croke Park Entrepreneurship Final



Croke Park Entrepreneurship Final for Limerick students. Pictured are the National Student Enterprise Programme Limerick Final Junior 1st Place Award 2023, Desmond College students, Melody Ivo, Paulina Varuyeva, Isobel Romo and Kinga Tobianska for their project Dunkin Buddy. Picture: Alan Place

An estimated 992 students from 22 schools took part in the Student Enterprise Programme final and Desmond College will represent Limerick in the Croke Park Entrepreneurship Final

Croke Park Entrepreneurship Final
Pictured is the National Student Enterprise Programme Limerick Final Senior 1st Place Award 2023 recipient, Desmond College student, Emma Greaney for her project Rehabilitation Nation. Picture: Alan Place

Local Enterprise Office Limerick have announced that teenage entrepreneurs from Desmond College will represent Limerick at this year’s Student Enterprise Programme National Finals on Friday, May 5.  The Finals make a return to Croke Park for the first time since 2019.

The students all took part in the Limerick Final on March 21 which was held at the Castletroy Park Hotel.  An estimated 992 students from 22 schools took part in the annual programme locally.

The enterprise education initiative, funded by the Government of Ireland through Enterprise Ireland and delivered by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices in local authorities throughout the country, saw over 25,000 students from just under 500 secondary schools across the country take part in 2021 / 2022.  The programme supports students to create, design and market their own business, all with the hope of reaching the National Finals.




In the Junior Category, the students representing Limerick at the National Finals are: Isobel Romo, Kinga Tobianaska, Melody Ivo, and Paulina Varuyeva from “Dunkin Buddy”.

In the Intermediate Category, Elissa Shiels, and Laura Brenann from “Benchibles” will be representing the county at the Finals.

In the Senior Category of the competition, Limerick will be represented on May 5th by Emma Greaney, and Madison Brouder of “Rehabilitation Nation”.

Special guests at the Limerick Final included All-Star Hurler, Sean Finn, SEP Ambassador and Professor Stephen Kinsella of UL who had a workshop with the teachers on Immersive Software Engineering and innovation in business.

Limerick has been successful over the years with 2 of the top five finalists last year also coming from Desmond College Newcastlewest. Niamh O’Mahoney whose business “SmartArntU” made the cut in the senior category and Ava Ahern, Laura Brenann, and Kayla McAuliffe whose business “Mela No More” excelled in the intermediate category.

Speaking at the county final, Mike O’Byrne of Local Enterprise Office Limerick congratulated the students: “We have a very successful student enterprise programme here in Limerick with over 990 students from 22 local schools taking part this year. Our national finalists are excellent ambassadors for the programme and we wish them the very best of luck on Friday 5th, and we will all hope to be there to support them. 

Croke Park Entrepreneurship Final
Pictured are the National Student Enterprise Programme Limerick Final Intermediate 1st Place Award 2023, Desmond College students, Laura Brennan and Elissa Sheils for their project Benchables. Picture: Alan Place

“In what has been a particularly challenging couple of years for students the programme has offered them an outlet outside of the usual school demands.  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. The skills they learn along the way, such as business planning, market research, selling and team-work, will help them become more entrepreneurial throughout their future careers”.

The local students will be competing against hundreds of other student entrepreneurs from all over Ireland at the Student Enterprise Programme National Finals, taking place at Croke Park in Dublin on May 5. 

Since the Student Enterprise Programme began in 2003, over 350,000 students have taken part, learning key skills on how to create a business idea, start a business and grow a business.    

Further information around the Student Enterprise Programme is available from and by searching #studententerprise on social media.

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Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.