Tipperary SR County Enterprise Board hosted the Student Enterprise Awards in Halla na Feile, in Cashel on Friday 27th February last.
While the County Enterprise Board is primarily concerned with fostering and encouraging new and existing small businesses in South Tipperary, it also endeavors to foster a spirit of entrepreneurship amongst second level students. To this end each of the 16 second-level schools in South Tipperary is invited to participate in Student Enterprise Scheme where students generate business ideas and go through the process of setting up a mini-business in their school.
The finalists from the second level schools in South Tipperary displayed their 'mini-businesses' on Friday 27th February in Cashel and were adjudicated for the County Student Enterprise Awards. Students throughout South Tipperary have been busy over the past four months setting up small businesses within their schools and learning first hand what it takes to be a budding entrepreneur.
There was a tremendous turnout by the students. The Presentation Ballingarry scooped the 1St prize in the Senior category and will go on to represent South Tipperary in the National Student Enterprise Awards on Sunday 9th May in Tullamore. Their winning business, 'A Time to Reflect' was set up by Sarah Curran, Ciara Meagher and Scarlett Lanigan. They produced a variety of creative mirrors incorporating natural stone in the design.
The Loreto in Clonmel was the most successful school winning six out of a total of fifteen prizes as well as going forward to represent South Tipperary at the National Finals in the Intermediate and Junior categories. The Intermediate category winner was 'The Sugar Almond Company' by Fiona Reid, Niamh Herlihy and Marie Ryan and the Junior Category winner was 'Reflections' by Clare Walsh Aoife Dunphy and Michelle Lonergan of the Loreto Secondary School in Clonmel.
An added dimension to last Friday's event was the attendance of a number of the most prominent employers in South Tipperary with display stands to show students what types of employment opportunities exist locally. Each sponsor presented a wonderful display and each is a great credit to South Tipperary. The sponsors directly employ in excess of 3,000 staff in South Tipperary. Those attending include:—
Merck Sharp & Dohme
South Tipperary County Council
These organisations have also generously sponsored the event and many of the prizes that were presented on the day. In addition to winners for the Senior, Intermediate and Junior categories, there was prizes for the 'Most Innovative Idea', 'Best Stand' and 'Best Business Plan'.
Toss Hayes, CEO of Tipperary SR County Enterprise Board said 'the Student Enterprise Awards programme represents a wonderful opportunity for students in school to experience and appreciate setting up and running a business. It also helps widen their horizons in terms of understanding where future employment opportunities may arise and this is in keeping with our own objectives'.
Toss Hayes also noted that this was the tenth year of the Student Enterprise Awards and many of the participants in earlier years have since successfully established their own businesses and have received support to do so from the Enterprise Board.