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22 May 2022

Longford teenage entrepreneurs show their creative flair

Longford entrepreneurs

Senior Category winners at the County Longford Student Enterprise Programme Final were Elaine Tully and Aibhe Brady from 'CMG Skinny Bottoms & Halfzips' at Cnoc Mhuire, Granard

Teenage entrepreneurs from Cnoc Mhuire, Granard and Moyne Community School will represent Local Enterprise Office Longford at this year’s Student Enterprise Programme National Finals.

Preliminary judging will take place on May 3 from which five mini businesses from each category will go forward to a live final on Wednesday, May 18 in The Helix in Dublin.

The students all took part in the County Longford Student Enterprise Programme Final on Tuesday, March 15, which was held virtually. An estimated two hundred students from seven schools took part in the programme locally.

In the Senior Category, Longford will be represented at national level by Elaine Tully and Aibhe Brady from CMG Skinny Bottoms & Halfzips at Cnoc Mhuire, Granard.

In the Intermediate Category, Moyne CS student Saoirse O’Toole from Saoirse’s Bakes & Cakes will be going forward to the national preliminaries.

In the “Most Creative Business Idea” section open to senior students, Aoibhe Beatty, Cnoc Mhuire, Granard emerged on top. Her idea “Naddy Bot”, a wearable device which monitors blood sugar levels, goes forward.

Special guests at the Longford virtual final included local athlete, European U20 Champion and former Student Enterprise Programme participant, Cian McPhillips and Cllr Peggy Nolan, Cathaoirleach, Longford County Council.

Longford has a successful track record in the student enterprise competition. Recent awards won by local secondary schools have included Best Commercial Potential in 2021 for ’Handy Hooks’ from Ballymahon Vocational School, “Best Commercial Potential award 2018” for ‘Reel Easy’ from Moyne Community School and 2nd place in the Senior Category in 2017 for ‘J & S Kitchen Aid’ from Mercy Secondary School in Ballymahon.

Michael Nevin, Head of Enterprise of the Local Enterprise Office Longford congratulated the students, saying, “We have a very successful student enterprise programme here in Longford, with approximately 200 students from seven local schools taking part this year. Our national finalists are excellent ambassadors for the programme and we wish them the very best of luck going forward. In what has been a particularly challenging couple of years for students the programme has offered them an outlet outside of the usual school demands.

“What our students are learning from the programme is that with the right support 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.”

Further information around the Student Enterprise Programme is available from www.studententerprise.ie and by searching #studententerprise on social media.

The Longford winners

Senior Category

Overall Winner: CMG Skinny Bottoms & Halfzips (Elaine Tully & Aibhe Brady), Cnoc Mhuire, Granard

Runner Up: Allorá Artwork (Naida Daugelaite), Meán Scoil Mhuire, Longford

Intermediate Category

Overall Winner: Saoirse’s Bakes & Cakes (Saoirse O’Toole), Moyne Community School

Special Awards - Seniors

Special Merit – Team Development: Bait Box (Ashleigh Cullen, Cian Monaghan & Chloe Hopkins), Ballymahon Vocational School

Special Merit – Marketing: Beam Engraving (Maria Farrell, Breyana McCormack, Eabha Nevin & Anna Hutchinson), Meán Scoil Mhuire, Longford

Special Merit – Innovation: Our Book (Larah Mulligan, Leah Farrell Malone & Jessica Flynn), Ardscoil Phadraig, Granard

Special Merit – Environmental: Air Bee+Bee (Aoife O'Hara), Moyne Community School

Most Creative Video Competition: Naddy bot (Aoibhe Beatty), Cnoc Mhuire, Granard

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