18 September, 2014 - An Taoiseach and Ministers O’Sullivan and Bruton attend events on student enterprise

An Taoiseach presents “Seán Lemass Excellence in Enterprise Award”, and Ministers O’Sullivan and Bruton host forum for entrepreneurial initiatives in schools

The Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan TD, and the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, today met with entrepreneurs who are involved in entrepreneurial initiatives throughout the education sector.

Minister O’Sullivan acknowledged their contribution to entrepreneurship in education, and emphasised that this relationship should be nurtured both now and into the future.

She said: “If a culture of entrepreneurship is to develop and expand, we need our young people to be innovative and creative. Skills, such as communicating, being creative, and working with others, will now be core to the Junior Cycle experience of our students. At senior cycle, two of the five key skills embedded in new curricula are especially important for entrepreneurship- critical and creative thinking, and working with others.

“These developments highlight the Government’s commitment to this important area of our economy.”

The Minister asked those present to particularly consider how to build on their energy and experience so that enterprise education becomes the norm for students, and to share their ideas.

Minister Bruton, who will shortly publish the Government’s entrepreneurship strategy, said: “Two thirds of all new jobs are created by start-ups, and that is why we have put entrepreneurship right at the heart of our jobs plan. In Ireland we have great entrepreneurs and start-ups – we just don’t have enough of them. A key part of our plans to encourage more people to start businesses is promoting entrepreneurship as a career option, and clearly education has a vital role to play in this. I am delighted to take part in today’s event and look forward to working with all involved to create more of the start-ups who will provide the jobs we need”. 

An Taoiseach then presented the “Seán Lemass Excellence in Enterprise Awards” for 2013 and 2014. These awards are presented annually to second-level students who achieve excellence in enterprise through participation in The Student Enterprise Awards and The Get Up and Go Programme.

Congratulating the winners, An Taoiseach said: “I am trulyawed by your achievements, sheer enthusiasm, spirit and your engagement with entrepreneurship.

“My Government has set out a vision for Ireland to be among the most entrepreneurial nations in the world and to be acknowledged as a world-class environment to start and grow a business.  Education has a key role to play and the work currently being undertaken by both the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation will be a key part of this vision and its reality.”

He thanked the many organisers, based all around the country, who worked with students throughout the year. 

The full list of winners

2013

Project

Students

Student Enterprise Award Winners

Squeazy, St Clare's College Manorhamilton Co. LeitrimMatthew Hewston, Fergus Munday and Luke Sheridan
Sweet Tooth, Presentation Secondary School, WexfordJoanna Murphy Sutton
Social Gamers, CBS Tralee Co KerryMarsell Fazilov, Davin Barrett and Imed Abnoun

PDST Get up and Go

SurfWatch, Portmarnock CS, Co. DublinUltan O'Morain, Joseph Dunne, Ryan Kelly and Stephen McInerney Foran
Regal Roses, Royal & Prior School Raphoe, Co. DonegalEimear Merrick, Jenny Mooney, Lucy Morrow and Kirsty McKinney
Kalina, Banagher College, Co. OffalyKatie O'Connor and Carolina Rodriguez

2014

Project

Students

Student Enterprise Award Winners

Upright Cycle Stands, de la Salle College WaterfordCathal Daly
My Little Big Adventure, Beara Community College,
Castletownbere, Co. Cork
Sadbh Sullivan, Eoghan Coleman, Orlaith Carroll,
Kevin Elphick and Danny O'Neill
Steindesign, Castleisland Community College, Castleisland, Co. KerryChristian Steinborn

PDST Get up and Go

Timber Teasers, Moyne Community School, Co. LongfordKian Brough, Frances Molloy,Charlie McGreevy,
Ellen McLoughlin and Thomas McVeigh
Chefs Way, Jesus & Mary Secondary School, Crossmolina, Co. MayoSarah Burke, Chloe Carey, Keith Gilroy, Kate Iarajuli,
David McHale & Rebecca Taylor
Hockey Hands, Ursuline Secondary School, Thurles, Co. TipperaryLucy Hayes, Niamh Kearny, Blaithin Linane,
Roisin O'Sullivan and Hannah Ryan

ENDS