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Limerick Schools encouraged to sign up for Student Enterprise Programme 2022



Student Enterprise Programme 2022 – Ava Ahern, Laura Brennan, Kayla McAuliffe from Desmond College, Newcastle West whose business “Mela No More” excelled in the intermediate category last year pictured above

Irelands largest enterprise programme begins its 21st year

Niamh O’Mahoney from Desmond College, Newcastle West and owner of “SmartArntU” speaking to Tanaiste Leo Varadkar at a previous Student Enterprise Awards.

Schools across Limerick are being encouraged to sign up for this year’s Student Enterprise Programme 2022.

An initiative of the Local Enterprise Offices (LEO), the country’s largest enterprise programme for second-level students begins its 21st year and over 300,000 students have taken part since it began.




Every year around 25,000 students take part from almost 500 schools all across the country, competing in the Junior, Intermediate and Senior categories.

Participants learn how to create and run their own business, picking up key skills along the way such as ideation, marketing, finance and sales and it’s open to all secondary schools.

Recent ambassadors for the programme have included Limerick All-Ireland Hurling winner Sean Finn, Derval O’Rourke and Josh Van Der Flier.

The programme is run through the network of Local Enterprise Offices, supported by Enterprise Ireland and the local authorities, with local coordinators in every area to support teachers and students throughout the year of the programme, which in turn helps foster entrepreneurship in students and gives them key skills they can bring with them into later life.

The programme is open to all secondary school students from first year through to sixth year.

Limerick has had success over the years with two of the top five finalists last year coming from Desmond College Newcastle West.

Niamh O’Mahoney whose business “SmartArntU” made the cut in the senior category and Ava Ahern, Laura Brennan, and Kayla McAuliffe whose business “Mela No More” excelled in the intermediate category.

Mike O’Byrne of LEO Limerick said: “We believe the Student Enterprise Programme 2022 is a tremendous way to get young people thinking about starting their own business later in life. The stronger the pipeline of new entrepreneurs coming through the better for our economy down the line.”

“Students learn key skills on how to create a business idea, start a business and grow a business. The skills they learn will stand to them in whatever career they move into after school and college.”

Last year the winners were Barrelda from Meath in the Senior Category with their business recycling poly drums from the farm for use as meal troughs and calf teat feeders.  In the Intermediate category, the winner was Earrings by Aoibheann from Dublin who created a range of jewellery for people who may be sensitive or allergic to traditional jewellery metals.  The Junior category was won by Sew Stylish from Kilkenny who again recycled materials to create multifunctional scrunchies for hair that could also hold personal items such as keys and lip gloss.

The Student Enterprise Programme also has a new range of online resources for 2022/2023 at, which will feature regular blogs and houses a full range of Student Enterprise resources for students and teachers.

For more information on the Student Enterprise Programme, go HERE

For more stories on Enterprise go 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.