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Press Release: Student Enterprise Awards


Local Enterprise Office Westmeath have announced that teenage entrepreneurs from Moate Community School and Mercy School Kilbeggan will represent Westmeath at this year’s Student Enterprise Programme National Finals on Friday 5 May. The Finals make a return to Croke Park for the first time since 2019.


The students all took part in the Westmeath Final on 9 March 2023 which was held at the Golden Island Shopping Centre Athlone. 1000 students from thirteen schools took part in the annual programme locally.

The 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 25,000 students from just under 500 secondary schools across the Country take part in 2021 / 2022.  The programme supports students to create, design, and market their own business, all with the hope of reaching the National Finals.

In the Junior Category, the students representing Westmeath at the National Finals are Niamh Noone, Doireann Keena & Lucy Keane from ‘You Rock’ at Moate Community School. In second place was Laura Fox, James Seery & Sophia Dilworth from ‘A Little Birdie Told Me’ at Moate Community School and 3rd place went to Mark Lambert & Pádraig Reagan from ‘Buns and Bits’ at Colaiste Mhuire, Mullingar.

In the Senior Category of the competition, Westmeath will be represented on May 5th by Aoife Mangan, Lauren Wrafter, Chloe Daly, Lucy Caulfield from ‘Paper4Nature’ at Mercy School Kilbeggan. In second place was Robert Brennan & Hugh Murtagh from ‘A-Ok’ at Colaiste Mhuire, Mullingar and 3rd place went to Michael Henehan, Mikey Molloy, Cian Norris & Donnchadh O’Reilly from ‘Keep ‘er Lit’ at Marist College, Athlone.

Special guests at the Westmeath Final included Chief Executive of Westmeath County Council Pat Gallagher and Head of Enterprise of Westmeath County Council Christine Charlton.

Recent awards won by local secondary schools have included third place in the Junior Category at the 2021 National Final, which was won by Lucy Champ and Aoife Bolger from ‘Wreaths by Occasion’ at Moate Community School, and the winning student for Best Commercial Product in the Senior Category at the 2020 National Final was Jack O’Regan Kenny from Colaiste Mhuire (CBS) Mullingar. His student enterprise was called: ‘MIRR’, which is the invention, design, and manufacture of a unique, first to market voice and touch activated smart mirror.

Speaking at the County final, Christine Charlton, Head of Enterprise, congratulated the students, saying “We have a very successful student enterprise programme here in Westmeath, with over 60 students from nine local schools taking part this year. Our national finalists are excellent ambassadors for the programme, and we wish them the very best of luck on Friday 5, and we will all hope to be there to support them.  In what has been a particularly challenging couple of years for students the programme has offered them an outlet outside of the usual school demands.  What our students are learning from the programme is that with the right supports and encouragement, they can take an idea from the classroom and develop it into a real-life business. The skills they learn along the way, such as business planning, market research, selling and teamwork, will help them become more entrepreneurial throughout their future careers”.

The local students will be competing against hundreds of other student entrepreneurs from all over Ireland at the Student Enterprise Programme National Finals, taking place at Croke Park in Dublin on the 5 of May. 

Since the Student Enterprise Programme began in 2003, over 350,000 students have taken part, learning key skills on how to create a business idea, start a business, and grow a business.  The Student Enterprise Programme also has a new range of online resources for 2022 / 2023 at www.studententerprise.ie, which will feature regular blogs and houses a full range of Student Enterprise resources for students and teachers.   

Further information around the Student Enterprise Programme is available from www.studententerprise.ie and by searching #studententerprise on social media.


Content Last Updated/Reviewed: 13/03/2023