Students display great entrepreneurial talent at Christmas Fair

Kevin Curran, Head of Enterprise at the LEO Mallow presenting the award for Best Overall Winner in the ‘B’ Section. of the Schools Enterprise Programme ’16 Trade Fair to pupils from Charleville C.B.S., with teacher Sinead Costello (left), Joan Kelleher, Business Advisor LEO, judge Mike Knightson and Porgramme Co-ordinator Gary Lowe(right)

Over 400 students from second level schools all over North Cork took part in a Christmas Fair run by the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Cork North and West at Mallow GAA Complex last Friday, 9th December. A total of 59 mini-companies from second level schools from first year to Transition Year set up and put on display products they have produced since the school year began in September. The event was organised as part of the Student Enterprise Programme, run by the LEO. To reward their effort, the Local Enterprise Office Cork North and West put up a number of trophies and the competition was fierce.
The Best Overall in the Junior Category was ‘Holiday Creations’ from Davis College who made wonderful Christmas decorations. Such was the number of entrants in the senior category, it was decided to split the entrants into two halves and award trophies in each group. The Best Overall winner in Group 1 was ‘Picture That’ from Coláiste Treasa in Kanturk.They produced decorative framed personalised family trees. The Best Overall Prize in Group 2 was ‘Fantasy Hurling’ from Charleville CBS who created a web-based fantasy hurling game for sports fans. There were also trophies presented under the headings of Best Display, Innovation, Interview, Sales Techniques, Team Spirit as well as an overall winner. The winners chosen were as follows:
Other winners included at the Trade Fair included:

Best Display Stand Group 1:        Sweet Dreams, Milstreet Community  School
Best Display Stand Group 2:        Positivity is Key, Coláiste Mhuire, Buttevant

Best Sales Technique Group 1:         Spy Stop, Davis College, Mallow
Best Sales Technique Group 2:        Crann Nollaig, Coláiste Mhuire, Buttevant

Most Innovation Group 1:        Yo Sounds, David College, Mallow
Most Innovation Group 2:        Handy Bandy, St Mary’s, Mallow

Best Team Spirit Group 1:        Winter Wonderland, Colaisite Chraoibhin, Fermoy
Best Team Spirit Group 2:        Candy Co., Coláiste Nagle Rice, Doneraile

Best Interview Group 1:        Sweeten Up Santa, Coláiste Treasa, Kanturk
Best Interview Group 2:        Blush, St. Mary’s, Charleville

Speaking at the event, Head of Local Enterprise at the North Cork Local Enterprise Office, Kevin Curran, thanked all the teachers for the support they provide to their students and said, “Looking around at the group of inspirational and business-focused young people here today, there is no doubt that the future of entrepreneurship in Ireland looks very bright indeed.”
Judges at the event included Jarlath White, JW Garden Design, Helen O’Sullivan, Mike Knightson, KM Financial, Donal Murphy, Donluoco, and Noreen Walsh, AIB Mallow.
The Student Enterprise Programme is a national initiative that instils entrepreneurial skills in young people and the showcase gave the students experience at putting together a presentation stand, pitching to judges and honing their sales skills. For more information regarding this initiative, visit The next leg of the North Cork Local Enterprise Office Schools Programme Competition takes place in March 2017 – the Regional Final.