Kilkenny students get ready for the Student Enterprise Program National Final at Croke Park

My Entrepreneurial Journey Junior competition winner: Ruth O'Sullivan of Shake It Up Ltd. from Coláiste Abhainn Rí with Cathaoirleach, Cllr. Pat Fitzpatrick, Cllr. Deirdre Cullen and Judge Morgan Doyle

Photos: Vicky Comerford

Intermediate Category Winners of the main competition, Cian Holohan and Jack Dooley from HD Horseshoe Designs at St. Kieran’s College with Judge Marion Acreman of MacDonagh Junction

Preparations are well underway for three local secondary schools Grennan College, St. Kieran’s College and Coláiste Abhainn Rí, will represent Kilkenny at this year’s Student Enterprise Programme National Finals on Friday 5th May in Croke Park.

Local Enterprise Office Kilkenny announced the winners of the county final in early March at Lyrath Hotel. Over 1000 students from 12 local schools took part in the annual programme with 130 students making it to the county final.

In the Junior Category, the students representing Kilkenny at the National Finals are Jane Kelly and Isabelle Doheny from Worry Not at Coláiste Abhainn Rí. They sell polished stones that consumers could use for meditation or to ease anxiety by rubbing.

Cian Holohan and Jack Dooley from HD Horseshoe Designs at St. Kieran’s College will be representing the county in the Intermediate Category. This company sell a variety of ornaments made from repurposed horseshoes.

In the Senior Category of the competition, Kilkenny will be represented on May 5th by Michael Bookle, Conor Monks, Darragh Dack, Conor Kelly and Isaac Magnez from The Gaming Guard at Grennan College. Their entrepreneurial idea includes an Xbox and PlayStation 5 controller accessory that helps players avoid being kicked out of live online games made from 3-D printing.

In the “My Entrepreneurial Journey” competition two Coláiste Abhainn Rí students will represent Kilkenny in the National Finals; Ruth O’Sullivan of Shake It Up the junior category and Darragh Lyons from Energelz in the intermediate category. Both students have made the top three shortlists in this competition ahead of the finals.

Speaking ahead of the national final, Aileen McGrath, Acting Head of Enterprise, Local Enterprise Office Kilkenny wished the students well, saying “We have a very successful student enterprise programme here and last year Kilkenny had a winner in the Junior Category, ‘Sew Stylish’ from St. Brigid’s Callan”. She added “Our national finalists are excellent ambassadors for the programme and we wish them the very best of luck in Croke Park on May 5th.”

The local students will be competing against hundreds of other student entrepreneurs from all over Ireland at the Student Enterprise Programme National Finals, taking place at Croke Park in Dublin on the 5th May. The Finalists for Ireland’s largest entrepreneurial programme for secondary level students were announced this week from over 25,000 entrants. The Student Enterprise Programme, an initiative of the Local Enterprise Offices and now in its 21st year, has announced the 82 Finalists that will compete across three categories at the National Finals.

Each of the 31 Local Enterprise Offices have one representative each in the Senior category with the remaining finalists spread across the Junior and Intermediate categories. The finalists span a whole range of sectors from agriculture and design to sustainability and healthcare. The Finals take place in Croke Park on the 5th May where one student business will be named “Student Enterprise of the Year”.

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


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