Waterford students to represent county at national enterprise finals

Justin Kelly

Reporter:

Justin Kelly

Email:

news@waterfordlive.ie

Hidden Access from Ard Scoil na nDeise in Dungarvan has won the senior award at the Student Enterprise Waterford County Final and qualify for the National Student Enterprise Final.

Caoimhe Keane and Lauren Douris from Hidden Access, winners of the Senior award designed, created and produced portable wheelchair ramps. They took park in the Local Enterprise Office’s Student Enterprise Awards last Tuesday at the WIT Arena.

The Waterford Student Enterprise Programme started in September with 1,000 students from 15 schools in Waterford City and County. They created their businesses, developed, branded, promoted and sold. But most importantly they learned what it felt like to run their own business.

Finally, 120 students represented 12 schools in Waterford and competed in the Waterford Student Enterprise Final on Tuesday, March 5 at the W.I.T. Arena in Carriganore. 40 businesses in total, shortlisted from a total of 350 who commenced the competition in September, presented their business plans and challenged for the top prize in the Waterford Student Enterprise Programme.

Hidden Access will represent Waterford at the National Finals on May 3rd in Croke Park taking on 34 other businesses, the best of the rest of the country.

Co-ordinated by the Local Enterprise Office Waterford, the competition is the most successful programme of its kind in the country. 25,000 budding entrepreneurs from 380 secondary schools across the country have been running their own enterprises, with help from their teachers and Local Enterprise Offices.

Finalists from all over the country will set-up enterprise exhibition displays before taking part in a series of judging interviews.  The judging panels take numerous factors into account, such as business reporting, innovation, market research, risk management and finances.

Praising the teachers and local schools involved in the programme, Richie Walsh, Head of Enterprise at the Local Enterprise Office Waterford, said: “The Student Enterprise Programme encourages and enables students to take on the world of business and develop an entrepreneurial mindset. By fostering an enterprising culture in the classroom, the Local Enterprise Offices are working with teachers and schools to help nurture the next generation of entrepreneurs.”

Further information about May’s National Finals is available through www.studententerprise.ie which also has free resources and video tutorials for students and teachers for the 2017/2018 programme.