Just got word from the mighty Ruairí Farrell over at Kilcoole’s Coláiste Chraobh Abhann…
Their rather smart students have been winningall sorts of awardsfor their entrepreneurial brilliance, with the Minister for Employment and Small Business, Pat Breen TD, been so impressed that he paid them a visit.
Here’s the lowdown on the big day…
The Minister for Employment and Small Business, Pat Breen T.D. visited the school of an award-winning teenage entrepreneur on Wednesday accompanied by Minister for Food Andrew Doyle TD to acknowledge the schools tradition and success in the area of enterprise and also to launch new teacher resources that will support over 20,000 secondary school students taking part in the Student Enterprise Programme.
Organised and run by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices, the year-round Student Enterprise Programme is the biggest student competition in the Country with students from 620 schools taking part every year across three categories.
The new resources, which include a teachers’ manual, student workbook and helpful tips from successful entrepreneurs, was launched by Minister Breen in County Wicklow when he visited the school of Luke Byrne, the 17-year- old inventor behind ‘Headphone Helpers.’
Byrne is a student at Coláiste Chraobh Abhann in Kilcoole, which participates in the programme in County Wicklow every year. He won the Senior Category at the National Student Enterprise Awards earlier this year in Croke Park for his invention of a silicone band to keep earphones tangle-free. Luke continues the tradition of success in the school with previous entrepreneur’s also winning great acclaim.
During the visit, the Minister also met other enterprising students from the school, who are either competing in this year’s programme, or who have previously won awards for their enterprises. The enterprising students have developed products such as pet treats, homemade chutneys, self-help books, exercise tools and an Irish board game.
While in Coláiste Chraobh Abhann, Minister Breen commented that: “Entrepreneurship is the backbone of our economy and starting to embed this culture at an early age is extremely important. This programme, and the new resources that are being launched today, ensures that entrepreneurship becomes a natural option for our young people as they discover their passions. We want to nurture Ireland’s future entrepreneurs and business leaders. It is great to see both teachers and entrepreneurs coming together to ensure that this solid base is built into our schools”.
The Minister was welcomed to the school by its Principal, Mr. Shane Eivers, Business Department Coordinator, Mr. Ruairí Farrell, members of the Board of Management along with Chief Executive of Wicklow County Council, Brian Doyle and Mark Cristal of Enterprise Ireland along with representatives from the Local Enterprise Offices, the Local Authorities Network and Enterprise Ireland.
Mr. Shane Eivers, the Principal of Coláiste Chraobh Abhann was delighted that the Minister for Employment and Small Business, Mr Pat Breen TD, took time from his busy schedule to visit Coláiste Chraobh Abhann.
“It is a true privilege for the students and staff to have a Government Minister acknowledge the excellent work that is in evidence at the school in the area of Business and Enterprise. Coláiste Chraobh Abhann has fully embraced the spirit of enterprise in the school and wider community. The challenge of producing the next generation’s entrepreneurs is being met by vibrant and dynamic Business teachers and a cohort of enthusiastic students. The goals and aspirations of the Transition Year Programme and the new Junior Cycle subject specification with regard to enterprise education are fully embedded as a culture in the school. Students are being afforded great opportunities to express their creativity, tenacity and determination while getting real life experience of establishing and running a business”.
Ms. Sheelagh Daly of the Local Enterprise Offices said: “The success of the Student Enterprise Programme, which is now in its fourteenth year, is that it brings the world of enterprise and education together at grassroots level. The new resource packs were designed with the help of both teachers and entrepreneurs, to support and encourage the next generation of entrepreneurs. Thanks to the support of hundreds of schools, principals and teachers throughout the country, the Student Enterprise Programme enables students to explore the world of business, starting in the classroom.”
Additional Information – About the Student Enterprise Programme. The Student Enterprise Programme is co-ordinated by the Local Enterprise Offices and involves 22,000 students from 620 secondary schools every year. It runs from September to May and the 2016/2017 National Final takes place on May 3rd 2017 in Dublin’s Croke Park.
About Luke Byrne, Senior Category Winner, National Student Enterprise Awards
2015/2016 17-year- old Student Enterprise Award winner, Luke Byrne, came up with a clever fix to keep earphones tangle free. It’s a silicone band worn around the neck with loops to prevent earphones from becoming tangled and falling on the ground when walking or running.
His idea for ‘Headphone Helpers’ arose from his own frustration with headphones getting tangled when he was out running. Luke – a 5th year student in Coláiste Chraobh Abhann, Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow – drew up the concept for his idea and then set about getting a sample made up with silicone. He gets his packaging and printing donen in Ireland and his silicone bands are made in Asia. His first order was for 200 units and today, he is selling on average of 20 a week through his website for €7 each.
The teenager won the overall Senior Category at the National Student Enterprise Awards in April 2016 for his enterprise. He is currently negotiating a deal with a major Irish retailer which, if successful, could see sales of ‘Headphone Helpers’ jump from an average 20 a week to 1,000.
Student Enterprise Programme Showcase – The Ministers met the following students while visiting Coláiste Chraobh Abhann, Kicoole, Co. Wicklow.
Luke Byrne (17) of Headphone Helpers, a silicone band to keep earphones tangle free. Rachel Kennedy (17) and Eimear Jordan (18) of Exerdice, a clever exercise tool. Rachel Crimes (16) and Marc Brady (17) of Teanga Spraoi, an Irish language board game to encourage young people to speak Irish more fluently.
Current Programme Participants (Senior Category):Rachel Kinsella (15), Aine Molloy (15) and Rebecca Hayden (15) of Breathe, a mindfulness book to promote positive mental wellbeing.Erika Bellamy (15) and Amy Byrne (15) of Cherry on Top, a range of ready-to- bake ingredients to make chocolate treats.
Current Programme Participants (Junior Category): Sadhbh Durston (12) of Yum Yum, a range of homemade chutney hampers and treats. Alannah McCabe (12), Emily Little (13) and Darragh Flynn (13) of Pawfect Treats, a brand of nutritional pet treats for cats and dogs.
Find out more about Luke’s winning design here, and about Coláiste right here.
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