Longford Shopping Centre was a hive of activity on Wednesday last for the County Final of the Student Enterprise Programme, a competition sponsored and organised by the Local Enterprise Office, Longford.
Seven secondary schools - Cnoc Mhuire, Granard; Moyne Community School; Mercy Secondary School Ballymahon; Ballymahon Vocational School, Ardscoil Phadraig, Granard; St Mel’s College Longford and Meán Scoil Mhuire Longford - took part in this year’s mini-business award with 22 groups of transition students and one team in the Junior Category (1st years) showing a high degree of innovation and good commercial awareness.
A wide range of businesses products and services were displayed on the day including, craft & gift wares, beauty and skincare products, sports-wear and a number of very innovative new products.
Innovation stole the day with the winners in the Junior and Senior categories coming from the development of new products.
Mercy Secondary School Ballymahon, ‘J & S Kitchen Aid’, led by James Carroll, Cronan Flood and Sam Maxwell – designed and manufacture a very innovative knife top hand protector while first years students from Moyne Community School, Shauna Reilly and Emma Beirne have successfully designed and produced the ‘Bin Belt’, a strap device that keeps your wheelie bin lids securely closed.
These teams will now go on to represent Longford at the National Finals in Croke Park on Wednesday, May 3.
Runners Up on the day went to Snap Attack from Cnoc Mhuire, Granard who produce educational snap cards used to help children learn a variety of vocabulary of different languages.
Other notable winners on the day included, two teams from St Mel’s College, ‘St Mel’s Bobble Hats’ and ‘Rustic Reindeer’, ‘The Pamper Dolls’ from Meán Scoil Mhuire, Longford, ‘Foodies’ from Ballymahon Vocational School and ‘Wooden Wonders’ from Ardscoil Phadraig, Granard.
Many of the students identified market niches, not just within the school but across their local communities and were able to turn significant profits by successfully targeting these niches.
Michael Nevin, Head of Enterprise, Longford LEO congratulated all the students who participated and emphasised the important role the Enterprise Office has in introducing students to the world of enterprise as a means of fostering an enterprise culture in the County.
Mr Nevin added, “The Enterprise Office is grateful to the management of Longford Shopping Centre for giving the students space to showcase their products. The successful implementation of the programme is dependent on the goodwill of teachers and the LEO office and is grateful for their support during the year.”