Student(s) from Laois have taken 3rd prize in the Senior category at this year’s Student Enterprise  Programme National Finals. The Finals of the Local Enterprise Office initiative took place on Friday in  Croke Park. 

Supported by Local Enterprise Office Laois, the students won 3rd overall in the Senior Cateogry. The  winning students were Daniel Aylward, Donil Mathew and Evan Farrell, who worked under the guidance of their teachers at Heywood Community School. Their student enterprise is called Hurlr and they brought a  bicycle hurl holder to the market which makes cycling to a match or training with a hurl far safer and more  convenient. See for more information.  

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. 

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.”  

Mark Clancy, Acting Head of Enterprise, Local Enterprise Office Laois said; “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.