Students in South Dublin will be aiming to match and even surpass last year’s success stories when they won the overall Intermediate category (Dara Ward – Colaiste Eanna) at the National Finals in April 2015, as well as scooping an Innovation Award in the junior category (Aaron Murphy Taylor – Colaiste De Hide).
Their senior entry, Dylan Leon had also previously won at Junior and Intermediate stage within the county and will definitely be a name to look out for in the future. South Dublin has an excellent record with enterprise across all age demographics and this process aims to encourage and develop this trend.
SEA 2015-2016 was launched in September with approximately 19 schools getting involved with over 700 students participating, incorporating approximately 280 individual business ideas. This is an exceptional level of involvement from local schools and there are approximately 30 teachers assisting with the process.
The main sponsor for the South Dublin Student Enterprise Awards, the Institute of Technology Tallaght, hosted a dinner on October 22nd in their Scholar’s restaurant, to mark the first stage of the process when the schools submitted their group details to the Local Enterprise Office. There were 12 teachers from the participating schools as well as representatives from both IT Tallaght and the South Dublin LEO. It was a perfect setting for the event as guests were treated to a delicious and expertly prepared five-course meal prepared by the Culinary Arts students in the college, again showcasing the skills of the local students.
The Student Enterprise Awards are a national awards programme which is run by the Local Enterprise Offices in each region of the country. Students in second level schools all over Ireland compete to be awarded first place at the National Awards Final in Croke Park in April along with a range of other awards such as Most Innovative and Best Social Media Presence. There are 3 categories involved in the process; Junior(1st years), Intermediate(2nd years) and Senior(TY and 5th years) and their challenge is to come up with an innovative business idea and develop it to a stage where they are generating sales.
It is an excellent opportunity for students to experience what it is really like to start up their own business as they have to brainstorm for ideas, identify target markets, carry out market research, source materials to produce their product/service, develop a company brand, create a sales and marketing strategy, manage and record all of their finances and finally compile all of the above activity and information into a detailed business report. With the help and support of their teachers and the local coordinators the students will experience first hand the trials and tribulations of being an entrepreneur. The lessons they will learn and skills they will develop will be invaluable to them in later life when they themselves look to setting up their own businesses.