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Limerick Students take national awards at Enterprise Finals

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Enterprise Finals success for Desmond College students for best Invention Award at the 2023 Student Enterprise Programme National Finals

Enterprise Finals success for Desmond College students for best Invention Award at the 2023 Student Enterprise Programme National Finals

Enterprise Finals success for Desmond College students for best Invention Award at the 2023 Student Enterprise Programme National Finals
Desmond College Students at the 2023 Student Enterprise Programme National Finals

The Finals of the Local Enterprise Office initiative took place on Friday 5th of May in Croke Park.

Supported by Local Enterprise Office Limerick, the winning students were: Emma Greaney & Madison Brouder from Desmond College Newcastle West who worked under the guidance of their teacher, Donal Enright. Their student enterprise was called: “Rehabilation Nation”, which is a device for shoulder rehabilitation and exercise.

There were 82 student businesses in contention across three main categories for the Final in what is Ireland’s largest entrepreneurship programme for second level students.  The 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 25,000 students from almost 500 secondary schools across the country take part.


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Neale Richmond, T.D., Minister of State for Employment Affairs and Retail Business, who took part in the ceremony, congratulated the students; “Congratulations to everyone who made it to today’s National Finals. With over 25,000 students taking part in this year’s programme, it is a huge achievement to make it to the Finals and shows a real flair for entrepreneurship. Some amazing businesses and entrepreneurs have come from this programme – the majority did not win any prizes but are still running successful businesses today. So, to those of you who won something today, a huge congratulations, but most importantly, to you all, this is the first step on the path, you are the entrepreneurs and business leaders of the future and everyone here today is excited to see what you do next.”    

Mike Cantwell, Head of Enterprise in LEO Limerick; “Year on year the Student Enterprise Programme continues to showcase the very best of Irish ingenuity and entrepreneurship amongst our secondary school students. This year produced a varied selection of businesses, from agricultural products and homemade gifts to products that were built on our unique ability to tell compelling stories. We see every year that the National Finals are not an end point for our student entrepreneurs, but a stepping stone on the next stage of their entrepreneurial journey. From our class of 22/23 we will see some business leaders and global entrepreneurs of the future emerge.”

The National Final students, who competed across three categories, Junior, Intermediate and Senior, were all attendance on the day exhibiting their businesses which were judged by a team of national businesses experts and mentors.  Each student enterprise was challenged with creating, setting up and running their own business, which must show sales of their service or product.  The judging panel included business owners and representatives from enterprise agencies and associated bodies. 

The three main category winners on the day were: ‘McCompactors’ from Roscommon Community College, representing Local Enterprise Office Roscommon (Senior Category Winner), ‘’Clip Clop Designs” from Moyne Community School representing Local Enterprise Office Longford (Intermediate Category Winner), and ‘Grasper’ from Drumshanbo Vocational School representing Local Enterprise Office Leitrim (Junior Category Winner).

Last year’s winner of the Student Enterprise Programme were “Barrelda” – an eco-innovation created by two young farmers from Co. Meath. Barrelda specialise in revamping old, blue polythene drums and recycling them to create meal silos and teat feeders. The young entrepreneurs have won high praise from eco organisations and farming organisations nationwide for their sustainability-focused project which also addresses the rising costs of farming equipment.   

The Student Enterprise Programme is funded by the Government of Ireland through Enterprise Ireland and delivered by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices in local authorities throughout the country.  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.  

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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 ilovelimerick.com 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.