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Limerick’s bright sparks shine brightly at Student Enterprise Awards 2017

Pablo Science & Engineering, Ard Scoil Ris, Student names: Domhnall Coffey, Donagh Morrissey, Jack McCoy and Darragh O’Brien being awarded the Best Innovation Award by Thomas McEvoy LEO Louth and Minister for Employment and Small Business Pat Breen at the Student Enterprise Awards 2017

Student entrepreneurs from Ard Scoil Rís in Limerick city and Coláiste Iosaef in Kilmallock have scooped awards at the 15th annual National Student Enterprise Awards 2017.

Pocket know from Colaiste Iosaef Kilmallock, created by Alex Goodison won the second prize in the Intermediate Category (2nd and 3rd years). He created a Revision App for second level students doing exams.

In the Senior Category (4th to 6th years including Transition Year), Pablo Science and Engineering established by Domhnall Coffey, Donagh Morrissey, Jack McCoy and Darragh O’Brien from Ard Scoil Rís, Ennis Road, Limerick were presented with the Best Innovation Award. Their project had three sections: a mobile Mapping App for schools; a Capital Asset Management Fund and a Financial Education App.


The National Finals took place in front of more than 500 guests at the Student Enterprise Awards 2017 ceremony in Croke Park.

student enterprise awards 2017

Alex Goodison from Colaiste Iosaef, Kilmallock receiving his second prize award in the Intermediate Category from Thomas McEvoy LEO Louth and Minister for Employment and Small Business Pat Breen at the Student Enterprise Programme National Finals 2017

The LEO-run Student Enterprise Programme started in 2003 and more than 150,000 secondary school students have taken part over the last fifteen years, researching and setting up their own businesses.

This year’s Student Enterprise Programme attracted 22,000 student participants from 620 secondary schools around the country. The year-long programme helps each student to gain the skills and practical knowledge of running a real-life business.

In Limerick, more than a thousand students from 20 schools across the city and county took part in the School Enterprise Programme which began last September.

Over 150 projects or businesses were started by students with a total of 46 projects being exhibited in the local final at the South Court Hotel in Raheen.

In addition to the two award-winning Limerick teams, K9 Carers founded by Tommy Quinlivan, Patrick Murrihy and Alex Erswell from Scoil Mhuire agus Ide, Newcastle West were representing Limerick in the Junior Category.  They created a Dog Nutritional Package.

Congratulating this year’s winners and their schools, Minister for Employment and Small Business Pat Breen said: “Entrepreneurship is the backbone of our economy, which is why this Student Enterprise Programme and Awards is so important.  Getting students learning about enterprise and providing the opportunity for them to learn by doing, at an early age, lays the foundations for successful entrepreneurship in the future.”

“I want to pay tribute in particular to the Local Enterprise Offices and to the teachers and management of the participating schools right around the country who have delivered a very successful Programme and Awards for the 15th year running.  I am greatly impressed and encouraged by the talent on show at the Student Enterprise Awards 2017, and want to commend all of the students who have taken part in the Programme this year.  I would encourage you to keep in touch with your Local Enterprise Office, who are on hand to help you grow your businesses. Heartiest congratulations to all the winners and I’ve no doubt that we are looking at some of Ireland’s leading business leaders of the future!”

Bernie Moloney, Senior Enterprise Development Officer with Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Limerick said: “All the hard work of the winning students has paid off, I would in particular like to pay tribute to Ard Scoil Ris and their teacher Moira Wallace and Colaiste Iosaef Kilmallock and teacher, Aoife Minnock.  We were also well represented in the Junior category by Colaiste Mhuire agus Ide, Newcastle West with K9 Carers and their teacher Mary Burke.”

“2017 is an extra special year for Local Enterprise Offices, schools, teachers and students, as we celebrate fifteen successful years of the student enterprise programme in Ireland.  As we look to the future, the curriculum in schools is changing with more of an emphasis on the enterprise in the classroom.  The Student Enterprise Programme is a natural fit for teachers with new resources and supports available to schools throughout the city and county,” she added.

You’ll be aware of the difference a good domain name, a professional website and a eye-catching logo can make in a student enterprise and I am confident many young entrepreneurs will find these links incredibly useful.

For more information about the next Student Enterprise Programme click here

For more stories about students click here

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.