local enterprise officeHundreds of enterprising students from primary and secondary schools across Fingal are making final preparations for the annual Fingal Student Enterprise Awards, taking place on Thursday, March 12th. Organised by the Fingal Local Enterprise Office, over 2,000 students from 31 primary and secondary schools have been taking part in the programme since last September, making it the biggest programme of its kind in the country.

Representatives from these local schools will now compete in March's County Final at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Blanchardstown, for a share of the €15,000 prize fund.

The Fingal Student Enterprise Programme, which is an initiative of the Fingal Local Enterprise Office and Fingal County Council, is supported by the Dublin and Dún Laoghaire Education and Training Board (DDLETB). It stimulates the creation of real-life businesses in primary and secondary schools, by encouraging students to research and manage their own business, with the support from local business mentors.

Announcing the details for this year's County Final, Oisin Geoghegan, Head of Enterprise with Fingal County Council, said: "The Student Enterprise Awards programme in Fingal is the largest and most successful programme in the country with record numbers of students, from primary and secondary schools across the region setting up and running their own businesses."

Fingal's Student Enterprise Programme is part of the National Student Enterprise Awards competition, which annually sees over 17,000 students compete on the national stage. Category winners from the Fingal County Finals will advance to the National Final, to be held in Croke Park in April.

Geoghegan added: "With the support of the schools, the local business community, sponsors and Dublin and Dun Laoghaire Education and Training Board, Fingal students are gaining invaluable experience in the world of business. The lessons they learn on this programme will help them become the entrepreneurs and business leaders of tomorrow."

Paul Reid, the Chief Executive of Fingal County Council, will be announcing the winners of the intermediate category and Councillor Mags Murray, Mayor of Fingal, will present the senior category prizes this year, which includes an educational trip to Barcelona, as El Prat in Barcelona is twinned with Fingal. The category winners and runners-up will all receive Blanchardstown Centre gift vouchers, glass trophies and certificates.

Broadcaster Rick O' Shea of RTÉ 2FM will host the awards ceremony in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, with the Enterprising School Spirit Award winners at primary and secondary level receiving laptop computers from the DDLETB, which is also sponsoring the DDLETB Enterprise Award.

Last year's category winners were 'Jeet Argan' from Donabate Community College (junior category), the 'Boot Drying Box', from St.Vincent's in Castleknock (intermediate category), and 'LAPS – The Board Game' from Skerries Community College (senior category).

Prizes on the day also include vouchers from the Blanchardstown Centre in Dublin 15, One4All Gift Vouchers in Swords, Xtreme.ie in Balbriggan and Simtech Aviation in St. Margaret's.

More information about the Fingal Student Enterprise Programme is available by visiting www.studententerprise.ie  and  www.facebook.com/pages/Fingal-Student-Enterprise-Award

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