TEEN entrepreneur Roshanna Houlihan from Newbridge College will represent Kildare at this year’s Student Enterprise Programme National Final on 14 May which, as like last year’s event, will take place virtually with approximately 80 finalist teams logging in from across Ireland.
A total of 1,050 students from across 14 secondary schools in Kildare took part in the annual programme and attended the County Final on Thursday (25 March) 2021 which was held virtually by the Kildare County Council’s Local Enterprise Office (LEO).
Roshanna’s business is called ‘Make Your Mark’ which creates pieces of art out of everyday objects using the technique of pyrography, or decorative wood burning.
The second place county winners were Emma Halpin, Chloe Curran and Alex Carpenter of ‘FoodUcate’ in Scoil Mhuire Community School Clane – an innovative cookbook to instil healthy eating patterns among children.
The county bronze went to Hugh Hamilton, Rory Kenny, Adam Williamson, Michael Collins, and Conor Manifold from Newbridge College with TY Sports Stands.
In the “Most Creative Business Idea” category which is open to senior students, Katie Coughlan of Celbridge Community School came out on top with ‘Covid-19 Essentials’ and will also progress to the National Final.
Kildare has a successful track record in the student enterprise competition with students of St Marys College Naas awarded third place in the Senior Category at the National Final 2019 with their company The Struggle is Real, and students from Scoil Dara Kilcock winning an award at the National Finals the previous year with their business Éirlert.
“We have a very successful student enterprise programme here in Kildare, with over 1,000 students from 14 local schools taking part this year,” said Head of Enterprise Kildare County Council, Jacqui McNabb.
“Our national finalists are excellent ambassadors for the programme and we wish them the very best of luck on Friday 14th, we’ll all be logged on to support them.”
The Student Enterprise Programme is an enterprise education 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 over 29,000 students from just under 500 secondary schools across the country take part in 2019 / 2020.
The programme supports students to create, design and market their own business, all with the hope of reaching the National Final.
Since the Student Enterprise Programme began in 2003, over 220,000 students have taken part, learning key skills on how to create a business idea, start a business and grow a business.
“What these enterprising students are learning is that with the right supports and encouragement, they can take an idea from the classroom and develop it into a real-life business,” said Peter Carey CEO of Kildare County Council.
“The skills the girls have developed such as business planning, market research, selling and team-work, will help them become more entrepreneurial throughout their future careers”.