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Mayo Students Set For Croke Park Entrepreneurship Final

Date: 20-03-2023

Mayo Local Enterprise Office have announced that teenage entrepreneurs from Scoil Muire agus Pádraig, Swinford and St. Louis Secondary School, Kiltimagh will represent Mayo at this year’s Student Enterprise Programme National Finals on Friday 5th May. The finals make a return to Croke Park for the first time since 2019.

The students all took part in the Mayo County Final on March 9th, which was held at the Great National Hotel in Ballina. Over 180 students from 15 schools took part in the annual programme locally on the day.

The enterprise education initiative, funded by the Government of Ireland through Enterprise Ireland and delivered by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices in local authorities throughout the country, saw over 25,000 students from just under 500 secondary schools across the country take part in 2021 / 2022. The programme supports students to create, design and market their own business, all with the hope of reaching the National Finals.

In the junior category, the students representing Mayo at the National Finals are: Odhran Freeman, Kiefer Walsh and Owen Monaghan from Odhrans Hen Houses at St. Louis Secondary School, Kiltimagh

In the senior category of the competition, Mayo will be represented by Eve Groarke, Maeve Murtagh, Shauna Walsh and Ríona Foote from Tyred Dogs at Scoil Muire agus Pádraig, Swinford.

The special guest at the Mayo County Final was Dara Calleary TD, Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation who was on hand to inspect all the students stands and for the awards ceremony.

Guest speaker Sarah Murphy from Make a Mark; a previous finalist in 2018 from Gortnor Abbey, gave what can only be described as a truly inspirational speech to the participating students in the audience, with Minister Dara Calleary, TD commenting that we should bottle Sarah’s inspiring enthusiasm for the programme for all future entrepreneurs.

Judges on the day included Catherine O’Grady-Powers, Glenkeen Farm and Glenkeen Estate, Mary Corrigan, Noo Chocolates and Kevin Loftus ACT-Studio.

Speaking at the county final, Mr John Magee Head of Local Enterprise Office Mayo, congratulated the students, saying:  “We have a very successful student enterprise programme here in Mayo, with over 180 students from 15 local schools taking part in this year’s County final.

“Our national finalists are excellent ambassadors for the programme, and we wish them the very best of luck on Friday May 5th in Croke Park.  In what has been a particularly challenging couple of years for students, the programme has offered them an outlet outside of the usual school demands.

“What our students are learning from the programme is that with the right supports and encouragement, they can take an idea from the classroom and develop it into a real-life business.

“The skills they learn along the way, such as business planning, market research, selling and teamwork, will help them become more entrepreneurial throughout their future careers.”

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. 

Since the Student Enterprise Programme began in 2003, over 350,000 students have taken part, learning key skills on how to create a business idea, start a business and grow a business.  

The Student Enterprise Programme also has new range of online resources for 2022 / 2023 at, which will feature regular blogs and houses a full range of Student Enterprise resources for students and teachers.   

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

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