A group of bright young students from Loreto in Letterkenny were named the overall champions at the recent finals of the Donegal Student Enterprise Programme.
22 teams from 10 schools across the county took part in the competition, which aims to nurture students’ ambitions and encourage a culture of entrepreneurship.
The programme allows students to understand the potential of being self-employed as a career choice, while educating them on the principles of business.
Loreto students Aifric Ni Fhearraigh, Alanna Sweeney, Emma Howard and Jade McCollum impressed the judges with their board game called ‘Hotspots,’ aimed at highlighting and celebrating the beauty of Donegal.
The junior category was won by Molly Boyd, a student from Scoil Mhuire in Buncrana who uses a range of recyclable materials found in Inishowen to make her range of Inishowen pens.
In Donegal the programme started in September with an idea generation workshop delivered at several locations across the county.
Students in the participating schools then progressed to develop a business idea and began trading ahead of the county final in the Silver Tassie last week.
The high standard of all the entries meant the judges had a difficult task when they met the young entrepreneurs last Wednesday.
Mícheál Ó Mianáin, Aimee Nic Laifeartaigh, Brendan Lee Ó Rodain and William Ó Ruanaidh from Tory were awarded second place in the junior section for their business “Cóstaeirí Thoraí” that incorporated old Irish sayings and puzzles onto slate coasters.
In the senior section Molly Patton, Zara Cassidy and Siobhan Doyle from St. Columba’s in Stranorlar were runners-up with their business ‘Buideal Bake,’ a range of quick mixes for chocolate chip cookies, brownies and funfetti cakes.
Joint third in the senior section went to Deele College students Caitlin Sheridan, Katie Allan, Andrea McNamee and Neve Scanlan with their clock-making business ‘Minute Details’ and to Finn Valley College student Molly Browne for her business KCS Perfumes.
Teams in the competition came from Loreto Letterkenny, St. Columba’s, Stranorlar; Royal and Prior; Toraigh; Loreto Milford; Gairmscoil Chu Uladh; Scoil Mhuire, Buncrana; Mulroy College; Deele College and Finn Valley College.
Head of Enterprise in Donegal, Michael Tunney praised the students for the standard of their entries.
“The Local Enterprise Office is geared towards promoting the spirit of entrepreneurship in Donegal and it is tremendous to see the enthusiasm and dedication the participating teams have demonstrated,” he said.
The winners of each category will now go onto the National Final in Coke Park Dublin on 2nd May to represent Donegal.