Transition Year student at St. Columba's, Rachel White looks back at her experience with the Student Enterprise Awards.

“I first heard about the Student Enterprise Awards when I started Transition Year. It’s a competition for young people where they run their own business. Our teacher encouraged us to come up with an idea, I started working straight away with two of my friends Rachel and Shania”

“We came up with an idea fairly quickly-box frames made with recycled materials. These deep frames are really popular for room decor and using recycled materials gives them a really unique look. We decided to call our business” “Colourbox” and designed a unique logo to brand our product.

“We started selling in November at Christmas craft fairs. As a team we are all very naturally chatty people, which really helped when dealing with customers. I ended up discovering a real love for working with people as well as the business and marketing world itself.”

“Colourbox had already won our in-school competition which enabled us  to compete in the Donegal Finals; there were around 32 companies and only 1 of them gets the go through so the pressure was on. We had to build a stand for our product to display it as well as go to a meeting room and speak in front of judges. This was very nerve wracking but we were well prepared and ended up being the overall winners!”

“Our final competition was the All Ireland Finals in Croke park where we would represent Donegal. We had to catch the bus at 5AM to make it to Dublin in time, so we were all quite grumpy on the long journey! Arriving in Dublin we unloaded our stand and had to carry it through the stadium proved quite difficult with a large bookcase, coffee table and 15 frames to carry.”

“When we got set up we had to be interviewed by the judges who came around, asked us questions and examined our stand and products. The judges were all really experienced in their fields of business which was quite intimidating but we did our best to cope with the pressure.”

I would definitely encourage all TY students to take advantage of this opportunity.

“At the end of the day sadly we left empty-handed but we had a great experience with the Student Enterprise Awards and learned a lot about the world of business-the stressful and the exciting! I’m really happy and grateful that I got the opportunity to compete in the competition”

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