Teen entrepreneur launches Irish, British and American Junior Chamber of Commerce

9 Jan 2020

Kate Madden. Image: Fennell Photography

FenuHealth co-founder Kate Madden announced the launch of the international Junior Chamber of Commerce aimed at supporting young people in business.

During the Future Human Leaders’ Lunch at the 2020 BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE), Kate Madden announced the launch of the Irish, British and American Junior Chamber of Commerce.

Along with her sister Annie, Madden is the co-founder of FenuHealth, an international equine business that has developed a strategic formula for racehorse feed using fenugreek herbs and spices.

The Irish, British and American Junior Chamber of Commerce is a business organisation for people under the age of 23 to promote doing international business. Membership will be free initially and all administrative costs will be sponsored by FenuHealth.

For the founding sisters, establishing this organisation is about supporting young entrepreneurs like themselves to try their hand at business and to persevere through any challenges.

“It was our 152nd formula that became our first product – imagine if we had stopped at our 151st formula. Now we are selling nine products in 15 countries and have five royal families as customers,” said Madden.

With the philosophy that “combined benefit for all is greater than the sum of our separate efforts”, the aims of the Junior Chamber are to conduct business within a network, share knowledge, simplify doing international business, organise education and training for members, and to encourage business practices that protect the environment. The Junior Chamber also intends to advise and assist the Irish, UK and US governments on matters relating to trade, commerce, industry and STEM, and to call their attention to the impact of certain laws and regulations.

BT Ireland MD Shay Walsh, who introduced the Future Human event at BTYSTE on Thursday 9 January, will serve as honorary patron of the Junior Chamber for the first year.

‘The idea is to get everyone working together from a young age’

While 19-year-old Madden is now a student at University College Cork, 18-year-old Annie is yet to sit the Leaving Cert at Loreto College in Dublin. In her presentation, Madden reflected on how FenuHealth evolved from a BTYSTE project in 2015 to an award-winning international business. In particular, she gave thanks to all the supporters FenuHealth had along the way, from BTYSTE head Mari Cahalane to Alltech founder Dr Pearse Lyons.

These connections began as the duo were still schoolgirls at the BTYSTE and became integral to their future success, and it is this spirit of valuable connections that inspired the Madden sisters to found the international Junior Chamber.

“For most young people in Ireland, Britain is our neighbour and the US is the country we want to break into next,” explained Madden. “The idea is to get everyone working together from a young age.”

Future Human is Silicon Republic’s international technology, science and business event celebrating meaning, values and purpose with collaborative, interactive and hands-on experiences. Super Early Bird tickets for Future Human 2020 are available now.

Editor’s note: Please note that Future Human 2020 has been rescheduled to take place on 29 and 30 October 2020. More details can be found here.

Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic