Teen spirit: Young entrepreneurs battle it out for national title
The final of Youth Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 takes place in the Mansion House
Young entrepreneurs gather in the Mansion House today (30/3/17) hoping to wow judges and be crowned ‘Foróige Youth Entrepreneur of the Year 2017’.
Fourteen finalists managing seven start-up businesses will pitch their products to a panel of expert judges from the business world including Stephen Vernon, M.D., Green Properties; Laura Lunch, Head of Youth Banking, Bank of Ireland; Siobhan Daly; Senior Supply Chain Specialist, Jazz Pharmaceutical and Judging Panel Chair, John Cahill, Assistant Chief Executive, Foróige.
The teen entrepreneurs are aged between 15 and 17 and have beaten off stiff competition at the county and then regional level to make the national final.
The winner will be determined by a competitive twenty minute Elevator Pitch to the judging panel.
The youths from Limerick, Offaly, Sligo, Donegal and Dublin made the final from 1,000 young entrepreneurs who set up start-up businesses as part of the Foróige Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) programme this year.
Overall 320 businesses participated in the programme in 2017 from 32 sites in counties Dublin, Offaly, Sligo, Donegal, Westmeath, Tipperary and Limerick.
Products developed by the seven finalists include …. Laser made keyring puzzles; Gender neutral clothing; Hand-made soaps for skin conditions; Hand-crafted pencil holders; Personalised dog collars; Cosmic tie-dyed t-shirts; & Wheelie bin clips for windy weather.
Sean Campbell, Chief Executive, Foróige said, “Entrepreneurship is a rare skill, it takes a special mix of creativity; determination; self-discipline and competitiveness to get a business off the ground. These young entrepreneurs have not only created high quality marketable products and thriving businesses, they have laid the foundation for their future careers and earned critical skills for the modern world. The level of leadership and passion the young people have shown throughout the process is phenomenal and I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate each and every finalist.
“For the last four years the winner of our competition has gone on to take the European title. This shows there is something really special about our programme and that the young people coming through it are simply world class. This year’s winners will go on to compete in Bulgaria to hopefully make it five in a row,” Mr Campbell finished.
The NFTE programme empowers young people who need additional supports in their lives to develop core skills in business and enterprise to help them unlock their individual talents and potential. The cutting edge, world recognised programme has shown to be successful in increasing school completion and college attendance rates.
Foróige NFTE Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards 2017
List of Finalists
1. Business Name: Puzzle Pals
Product: Laser made keyring puzzles for friends and groups
Entrepreneurs: Alice Duffy (16) & Amy O’Shea (15) from Desmond College, Newcastle West, Co. Limerick
Business Slogan: “Connecting friends with shapes”
2. Business Name: Clip It
Product: Wheelie bin clips for windy weather
Entrepreneurs: Eimear Kearney (16), Elizabeth Fahy (15), Rachel Toal (16), Éadaoin Kinsella (15) from The Mercy College, Sligo
Business Slogan: “Bin it, shut it, clip it”
3. Business Name: KT Clothing
Product: Gender neutral clothing
Entrepreneur: Katie McGloin (16), from Magh Ene College, Bundoran, Co. Donegal
Business Slogan: “Achieve goals without gender roles”
4. Business Name: Wooden Wonders
Product: Hand-crafted pencil holders
Entrepreneurs: Josh Pigot (16) & Brian Regan (16) from Chanel College, Coolock, Dublin.
Business Slogan: “Handmade, Hand painted, for you!”
5. Business Name: Nifty Dog Collars
Product: Personalised dog collars
Entrepreneurs: Claire Hutchinson (17) & Gabrielle Mooney (15), The Acorn Project, Edenderry, Co. Offaly
Business Slogan: “Pet Fashion”
6. Business Name: AZ
Product: Cosmic tie-dyed t-shirts
Entrepreneurs: Aoife Cashell (16) & Alannah Kelly (15) from St. Michael’s, Finglas, Dublin
Business Slogan: “Ideas so simple they’re AZ”
7. Business Name: Shivveys Soaps
Product: Hand-made soaps for skin conditions
Entrepreneurs: Siobhán Lennon (15) St. Dominics, Ballyfermot, Dublin
Business Slogan: “Rub a dub dub Siobhan’s soap is in the tub”