Young entrepreneurs from Dublin, Carlow, Cavan and Clare gathered in Croke Park, Dublin, yesterday, in preparation for the Student Enterprise Awards National Final, which is set to take place on 14 April.
The student entrepreneurs will be showcasing their products and services for the judging panel, such as educational CD ROMs for the Irish language, gardening tools that reduce repetitive strain, adjustable horse jump sets, hurling training aids and smartphone apps for revision.
More than 240 students from 76 student enterprises across the junior, intermediate and senior categories will compete in the national final, having qualified through the county level judging process.
Since last September, almost 15,000 secondary school students from across the country have researched, set up and managed their own real-life student enterprises.
The Student Enterprise Programme allows students to brainstorm business ideas and find solutions for everyday problems.
At the Student Enterprise Awards National Final in Croke Park, students will have to set up an enterprise exhibition display stand before their ‘Dragons’ Den’-style interviews with the judges. Each student entrepreneur will also have to submit a business plan in advance.
Students will be assessed on criteria such as innovation, finances, production, personal development, market research, business planning, interview techniques and risk management.
The winners will share the €10,000 prize fund and the senior category winners will have the opportunity to visit Paris in September as part of an educational study trip.
The programme is run by the City and County Enterprise Boards.