22 May 2022

Countdown to Croke Park kicks off for Carlow's most enterprising students


Excitement was at a high in Institute of Technology Carlow as Carlow County Council's  Local Enterprise Office confirmed the winning teenage entrepreneurs from Carlow Town and Mhuine Bheag who will represent the county at the National Final of Student Enterprise Programme.

Three teenage entrepreneurs from two local schools have won places representing County Carlow at the Student Enterprise Programme National Finals in Croke Park on Friday, May 3.

Every September through Local Enterprise Offices, entrepreneurial secondary school students begin their business journey as they are encouraged to research, set-up and run their own real-world businesses.

The enterprise education initiative, funded by the Government of Ireland through Enterprise Ireland and delivered by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices in local authorities, is the most successful student enterprise programme of its kind in the country.

An estimated 26,000 students from 490 schools around the country begin their entrepreneurial journey every year with the help of their teachers, student enterprise co-ordinators and Local Enterprise Office.

The students were all competing at the Carlow Final on March 27 which was held at the IT Carlow. An estimated 450 students from 10 schools took part in the annual programme locally.

In the Junior Category, the student representing Carlow at the National Finals in Croke Park is Irish Keys from Gaelcholáiste Cheatharlach by solo entrepreneur Sam O’Broin and in the Senior category of the competition Carlow will be represented by entrepreneurial duo Presentation De La Salle, Bagenalstown – Supporting her Students – Niamh Bambrick and Sarah Baldwin.

Speaking at the county final, Pauline Hoctor, Senior Enterprise Development Officer of LEO, congratulated the students.

She said: "We have a very successful student enterprise programme here in Carlow with over 450 students from 10 local schools taking part this year.

"Our national finalists are excellent ambassadors for the programme and we wish them the very best of luck in Croke Park on May 3. 

"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 team-work, will help them become more entrepreneurial throughout their future careers."

Cathaoirleach of Carlow County Council, Cllr Brian O'Donoghue addressing the awards asked that "students find their inner x-factor and outlined 10 steps for business success which should be followed for their entrepreneurial and professional life journey".

Speaking about the importance of the awards, Kathleen Holohan, Chief Executive of Carlow County Council said: "I am delighted to meet the students in IT Carlow who have worked hard with the support of their teachers, schools and wider community to create these entrepreneurial journeys as part of this progamme.

"I look forward to us all supporting these students on the journey to Croke Park to represent County Carlow as fine examples of individuals who have ambition , innovation and success built into their DNA."

She added: "Awards are an important way for us to showcase the talent and achievements of entrepreneurs in the County and we believe that by running the Student Enterprise Programme we are supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs who will create jobs in our rural communities in the future."

The local students will be competing against hundreds of other student entrepreneurs from all over Ireland in Croke Park at the Annual Student Enterprise Programme National Finals on May 3. 

Further information around the Student Enterprise Programme is available from 

Names of participating schools in Student Enterprise Programme

St LEO’S College Carlow.

St Marys Academy Carlow.

Presentation College Carlow.

Tyndall College Carlow.

Gael Cholaiste Cheatharlach

St Mary’s Knockbeg College Carlow.

Tullow Community College

Colaiste Eoin Hackettstown.

Borris Vocational School.

Presentation de la Salle, Bagenalstown

Names of winning enterprises

County Carlow Student Enterprise Programme 2018/19 - Winners

Overall Senior Winner – Presentation De La Salle, Bagenalstown – Supportingher

Students – Niamh Bambrick & Sarah Baldwin

Teachers – Fergus Doyle & Ailbhe Whyte


Overall Junior Winner – Gaelcholáiste Cheatharlach – Irish Keys

Student – Sam O Broin

Teacher – Catherine Hennessy


Best Business Plan – Tullow Community School – TY Ball 2019

Students - Kim Doogue, Sophie Byrne, Millie Francis, Alicia Henderson, Aoife Kearney

Teacher – Brian Larkin


Social Media Award – St. Leo’s College – Bucket Hats

Students - Riona Nolan, Lauren Walsh, Roksana Segiet, Eilis O’Neill, Elia Morist

Teachers - Mary Kyne & Claire Casey


Best Display Award - Borris Vocational School - Kates Kitchen

Student – Kate Poole

Teachers - Aileen Brennan, Sorcha Corkery, Emma Conway


Best Pitch Award - Gaelcholáiste Cheatharlach – Bualadh Bos

Students – Eabha Nic Aodh Bhui, Cillian O Caomhanaigh, Jane Ni Cholmain, Sadhbh Ni Cheallaigh

Teacher - Catherine Hennessy


County Carlow Student Enterprise Programme 2018/19- School Winners/Finalist

St. Leo’s College - Santa’s Little Helpers

Students - Ciara Miley, Niamh Millward, Cloda Markey, Rosie Joyce, Chloe Lyons

Teachers - Mary Kyne & Claire Casey



St. Mary’s Academy CBS- Matthew’s Wooden Crafts

Student – Matthew Keogh

Teacher – Tony Cleere & Barry Kavanagh


Presentation College Carlow – Daisy May Designs

Students – Jodie Dooley Slater, Emily Whelan, Heather Nolan & Chloe Whelan

Teachers – Karen Donnelly & Edel Murphy


St. Mary’s Knockbeg College – Knockbeg Sports Gear

Students - Jake Dore, Kyle Rice, Sean Dollard

Teachers – Sinead Nolan & Philip Cody


Tyndall College – RDLS Crafts

Students - Rachel Doran, Danielle Harkin, Leah Sheehan, Saule Ausraite

Teacher - Danny Cotterill


Tullow Community School - InSync!

Students – Niamh Murphy, Conor O’Neill, Roisin Bailey, Emer Dempsey, Aoibheann Brennan

Teacher – Brian Larkin


Presentation De La Salle, Bagenalstown - Supportingher

Students – Niamh Bambrick & Sarah Baldwin

Teacher – Fergal Doyle & Ailbhe Whyte


Borris Vocational School – Book of Light

Student - Aoife Harris

Teachers - Aileen Brennan, Sorcha Corkery, Emma Conway


Gaelcholáiste Cheatharlach - Irish Keys

Student – Sam O Broin

Teacher – Catherine Hennessy

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