The Junior Entrepreneur Programme (JEP) saw Cork primary school students show off some of their 40 different products this week to celebrate the nationwide project.
The JEP is a non-profit project that runs 10-16-week courses for primary school kids, teaching them all about the ‘entrepreneurial spirit’. Covering presentation skills, technology, research, problem solving and brand awareness, the example set by kids in Cork shows just how beneficial it can be.
More than 600 pupils from national schools throughout Cork got together to show their creations, including 1916 bookmarks, frames, key rings and cushions.
Aligned with the Irish curriculum, the freely-run programme claims to benefit 10,000 students a year, with kits supplied to schools to help run projects.
Industry sponsors get involved for the showcase day at the end of the programme, which is what was going on in Cork this week, with Síle Ní Ríogáin, of Gaelscoil Ui Drisceoil in Glanmire, lauding the “practical experience” her students gained from it all.
“Their presentation skills, teamwork and confidence have also increased significantly as a result,” she said.
Founded back in 2010 by Jerry Kennelly, JEP was initially run in Kerry and Limerick with the backing of both educational institutions and industry. It has since gone national, with Aiden Lee, of Eolas International, saying it’s now a “great opportunity” for schools around the country.
“There is no cost to the schools, and the benefits are enormous,” he said. “It has been proven that pupils who participate in entrepreneurship programmes demonstrate increased initiative and self-confidence.
“Fostering a love for business and a culture of entrepreneurship in children will not only provide them with opportunities in the future, but will also support job creation and economic development in Ireland.”