Westmeath national finalists last year, Aoife Mangan, Lauren Wrafter, Chloe Daly and Lucy Caulfield, Paper 4Nature, Mercy Secondary School, Kilbeggan.

Schools encouraged to sign up for Student Enterprise Programme

Schools in Westmeath are being encouraged to sign up for this year’s Student Enterprise Programme (SEP) by new brand ambassador, Louise Cantillon.

A Limerick native and former second level schoolteacher, Louise is encouraging the thousands of participating students this year as they set up and run their own businesses to compete for Student Enterprise of the Year.

Christine Charlton, head of Enterprise, LEO Westmeath, said: “The Student Enterprise Programme provides an opportunity for students to showcase their ideas and skills while exploring the reality of turning their dreams into a business.

Every year our students excite and amaze us with their creations and how they reflect our changing world with solutions for our everyday needs and this year will be no different. We are looking forward to seeing what this year’s students have to offer.”

An initiative of the Local Enterprise Offices of Ireland, the Student Enterprise Programme is the country’s largest enterprise programme for second level students, and this is its 22nd year.

Some 25,000 students from 500 second level schools are expected to take part.

Students from first to sixth year can enter in the Junior, Intermediate, and Senior categories.

Participants will learn how to create and run their own business, picking up key skills along the way such as ideation, marketing, finance and sales.

The programme is run through the network of Local Enterprise Offices, supported by Enterprise Ireland and the local authorities, with coordinators in every area to support teachers and students through the year of the programme.

Louise Cantillon she is looking forward to the roll-out of the new student workbooks as Gaeilge: “I am so excited to be working on the SEP project and learning about all the fantastic businesses these young students are going to be working on this year.

“The fact that the student workbooks are also being published as Gaeilge this year with thanks to the Irish language agency COGG is fantastic and a great resource for all the gaelscoileanna around the country.”

Last year the winners were MC Compactors from Roscommon in the Senior Category with their innovative stainless-steel rubbish compactor.

In the Intermediate category the winner was Clip Clop Designs, a company that upcycled used horseshoes into household ornaments.

The Junior category was won by a group of Leitrim students with their student enterprise Grasper – a lift mechanism to open slatted tank covers on farms.

Since the Student Enterprise Programme began in 2003, 325,000 students have taken part.

The Student Enterprise Programme also has a new range of online resources for 2023/2024 at www.StudentEnterprise.ie, which will feature regular blogs and houses a full range of Student Enterprise resources for students and teachers.


LEO Westmeath, 044 933 8945, localenterprise@westmeathcoco.ie