The Fingal Local Enterprise Office has announced the judging panels for the biggest regional student enterprise event in the country – the Fingal Student Enterprise Awards on March 12th, which is supported by the Dublin and Dún Laoghaire Education and Training Board. The final countdown is underway for 'Judgement Day', which will see student entrepreneurs from twenty secondary schools and eight primary schools compete for a share of the €15,000 prize fund at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Blanchardstown, hosted by RTE's Rick O' Shea.
High calibre judging panels have been announced by the Fingal Local Enterprise Office, and the eight judges will be visiting the exhibition displays and interviewing the 300 student entrepreneurs before making their final decisions.
Fingal is one of the few counties that run both a primary school and secondary school programme every year, enabling younger students to explore the world of business, and learn a wide range of entrepreneurial skill-sets. The judging panel for primary schools includes Irish Times business journalist, Pamela Newenham and the RTE Dragons' Den pitch coach, Catherine Moonan from Communication Matters.
For secondary schools, Una Cahalan of Enterprise Ireland, Karen Devine of Whitelight Consulting and Paul Murgatroyd from the BASE Enterprise Centre have been unveiled as the three judges for the junior and intermediate categories.
Finally, the senior category will be judged by Agnes Doyle from Agnes Doyle and Associates, John Byrne, from SAOL Business Partners and Phyllis Donohoe of the Local Enterprise Office Kildare.
The overall winners of the senior category will win an educational trip to Barcelona, while the winners and runners-up of the other categories will be awarded glass trophies and Blanchardstown Centre gift vouchers. Other prizes on the day include One4all Gift Cards, laptop computers as well as a teacher and student raffle, with prizes supplied by Xtreme.ie and Simtech Aviation.
All schools competing at the March 12th County Final will also receive a €200 enterprise grant, presented by Oisin Geoghegan, Head of Enterprise with Fingal County Council. He said: "Our hard-working judging panel will be assessing the student-run enterprises on a number of different areas, such as innovation, market research, sales, planning and finance. By getting 'hands-on' experience of running their own businesses, Fingal's young students get the opportunity to learn important lessons about entrepreneurship, fostering the next generation of business leaders."
Geoghegan is also presenting an award at the ceremony, alongside Paul Reid, Chief Executive, Fingal County Council, the Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Mags Murray, Pamela Newenham of the Irish Times and Paddy Lavelle, CEO with the Dublin and Dun Laoghaire Education and Training Board.
The three category winners at second level will go on to represent their county on 22nd April at the National Finals of the Student Enterprise Awards in Croke Park.
More information about the Fingal Student Enterprise Programme is available by visiting www.localenterprise.ie/Fingal and https://www.facebook.com/FingalStudentEnterpriseAwards