An estimated 22,000 secondary school students from 620 Irish schools, including 750 students from 16 local secondary schools in South Dublin, are learning about the world of business by setting up their own enterprises through the Student Enterprise Programme with the Local Enterprise Offices.
The Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen visited the school of an award-winning teenage entrepreneur this week, to officially launch the 2017/2018 Student Enterprise Programme, which is the biggest enterprise education initiative of its kind in the country.
The programme is run locally every year by Local Enterprise Office South and 16 schools from the county took part last year.
For the national programme launch, Minister Breen visited Coláiste Chill Mhantáin in Wicklow, where 16-year-old Cillian Scott is a fifth-year student.
Back in May, Scott won the Intermediate Category at the National Student Enterprise Awards in Croke Park for ‘Scott Engine Tables,’ a company which transforms car, truck and tank engines into furniture.
Minister Breen said:
“Since the Student Enterprise Programme began in 2003, more than 150,000 students have benefitted and we want to keep nurturing Ireland’s future entrepreneurs and business leaders in the years to come. Entrepreneurship is the backbone of the Irish economy and initiatives such as the Student Enterprise Programme are key to fostering a more enterprising culture. I would encourage principals and teachers to get in touch with their Local Enterprise Office, to find out how they can get involved in the next Student Enterprise Programme.”
Michael Nevin is the Chair of the Enterprise Education Committee with the Local Enterprise Offices which runs the Student Enterprise Programme. Welcoming the official launch of this year’s programme by Minister Breen he said:
“The Student Enterprise Programme enables thousands of students to explore the world of business, starting in the classroom. This is a very practical programme for second-level students, made possible thanks to the support of schools, principals and teachers in every county and local authority area.”
Praising the teachers and local schools involved in the programme, Des English, Senior Enterprise Development Officer with the Local Enterprise Office South Dublin, said:
“The Student Enterprise Awards encourages and enables students to take on the world of business and develop an entrepreneurial mind-set. Local Enterprise Office South Dublin works with schools to help foster an enterprising culture in the classroom and nurture the next generation of entrepreneurs.”
At the national launch this week, the Minister was joined by student entrepreneurs and representatives from Coláiste Chill Mhantáin, the Local Enterprise Offices, Enterprise Ireland and the local authorities.
Updates for teacher resource packs are available to secondary schools from the Local Enterprise Offices, free of charge, through the www.studententerprise.ie website.