The Corkman - - NEWS - BILL BROWNE

THE budding en­trepreneurs of to­mor­row were given the chance to pitch their busi­ness ideas to in­dus­try ex­perts dur­ing a fas­ci­nat­ing stu­dent/ teacher ‘ brain­storm­ing’ ses­sion at the Charleville Park Ho­tel last Mon­day.

Hosted un­der the aus­pices of the North Cork Schools En­ter­prise Pro­gramme, the sem­i­nar saw 450 ju­nior and se­nior cy­cle stu­dents from 13 sec­ond lev­els schools across the North Cork re­gion put through their paces.

Fa­cil­i­tated by The En­trepreneurs Acad­emy, one of the coun­try’s lead­ing in­no­va­tion train­ing com­pa­nies, the in­for­mal ses­sion en­cour­aged pupils to set up and run their own mini-busi­ness dur­ing the aca­demic year. The aim was to help them learn about en­trepreneur­ship by en­cour­ag­ing a new gen­er­a­tion of busi­ness lead­ers to flour­ish.

With the help of the acad­emy’s ex­pert team, the stu­dents learned about an ar­ray of ex­cit­ing new busi­ness ideas be­ing de­vel­oped across the globe and how they can use these to suc­cess­fully es­tab­lish and de­velop their own ideas for the mini-com­pany ini­tia­tive.

Fol­low­ing in­tro­duc­tions, the stu­dents were di­vided up into groups to do some brain­storm­ing of their own, pitch­ing ideas to their peers on which to base their own start-up busi­nesses.

Kevin Cur­ran, Head of En­ter­prise with the Lo­cal En­ter­prise Of­fice (LEO), said the sem­i­nar of­fered both pupils and teach­ers a wel­come in­sight into the tech­niques needed to make their busi­ness a suc­cess.

“Over years that this na­tional pro­gramme has been run­ning, the north Cork re­gion has proven to be one of the strong­est in the coun­try. This is due in no small mea­sure to the many teach­ers who work tire­lessly to help their stu­dents learn about the im­por­tance of en­trepreneur­ship,” said Mr Cur­ran.

“We in the LEO are see­ing the ben­e­fits of this with each pass­ing year with in­creas­ing num­bers of start-up busi­nesses es­tab­lished by stu­dents who par­tic­i­pated in the pro­gramme,” he added.

Garry Lowe, co-or­di­na­tor of the North Cork Schools En­ter­prise Pro­gramme, said he was struck by the sheer en­thu­si­asm of par­tic­i­pat­ing stu­dents. “There was a lot of pos­i­tiv­ity in the room here to­day. We hope the stu­dents will take on board the pro­cesses they have been shown and ap­ply them again and again over the com­ing months. To­day’s event could quite eas­ily change the way they view their fu­ture ca­reers,” he said.

Ann Do­herty of St Mary’s Col­lege Charleville, said the day was a great way for her stu­dents to kick off the aca­demic year.

“We’re so proud to be the reign­ing se­nior cham­pi­ons of stu­dent en­ter­prise in North Cork and hope to con­tinue our suc­cess with the pro­gramme this year,” she added.

The next event in the North Cork Schools En­ter­prise cal­en­dar will be the Christ­mas Trade Fair on De­cem­ber 7 when stu­dents will dis­play their prod­ucts and ser­vices to the public.

Stu­dents from Davis Col­lege Mal­low who at­tended the Cork North and West Lo­cal En­ter­prise In­no­va­tion Day for Schools En­ter­prise Pro­gramme, with Joan Kelle­her of the Mal­low -based Cork North and West LEO and pro­gramme co-or­di­na­tor Gary Lowe.

Stu­dents from Millstreet Com­mu­nity School who at­tended the Cork North & West Lo­cal En­ter­prise In­no­va­tion Day for the Schools En­ter­prise Pro­gramme ‘17/18, with teacher Shane Breen and Kevin Cur­ran, Man­ager Lo­cal En­ter­prise Of­fice Mal­low.

Stu­dents from the Na­gle Rice School, Don­eraile, with their teacher Brian Cole­man, LEO busi­ness ad­vi­sor Joan Kelle­her and pro­gramme co-or­di­na­tor Gary Lowe.

Stu­dents from Pa­tri­cian Acad­emy, Mal­low, with teacher Elaine O’Re­gan.

Stu­dents from Co­laiste Treasa Kan­turk.

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