Business News

Minister Perry launches Enterprise Ireland Student Entrepreneur Awards

By Business & Finance
17 February 2014

Minister for Small Business, John Perry TD, today announced that Enterprise Ireland has launched a major drive to spur entrepreneurial third level students to develop innovative business proposals as part of the Enterprise Ireland Student Entrepreneur Awards competition.

This is a great opportunity for ambitious and enterprising students to build a real-world business venture and at the same time be in with a chance to win a prize from the overall €30,000 cash prize fund and €30,000 consultancy fund, which includes a €10,000 first prize.

The Enterprise Ireland Student Entrepreneur Awards, which are co-sponsored by Invest Northern Ireland, Intel, Cruickshank Intellectual Property Attorneys and Grant Thornton, are Ireland’s biggest and longest established student enterprise competition for third level student teams from the whole island. The priority is to get students thinking now about starting their own business as a career option once they graduate. The sponsors also bring their expertise to nurturing the finalists in the competition to commercialise their business by providing them with expert guidance in areas such as intellectual property, market research, finances, technology development, public relations and advertising, all aimed at supporting young entrepreneurs to develop viable businesses and create jobs.

Launching the awards Minister Perry said: “Young entrepreneurs and third level students are a seed bed for future business start-ups and as such they should be part of Ireland getting back on its feet and the drive to stimulate more micro and small business activity and create jobs. They can be our successful entrepreneurs of the future and we need to really tap into the potential for them to help drive the economy by starting their own business as a real career option. We have to encourage and stimulate these students to be ambitious about their own potential to go into business for themselves, and these awards are a really important opportunity for them to test their flair for this.”

Tom Hayes, Enterprise Ireland’s head of Entrepreneurship, added: “The Enterprise Ireland Student Entrepreneur Awards campaign features a host of approaches to reach the students and make sure they get every encouragement and support to develop viable business plans. We encourage them to team up with their colleagues and friends from other faculties to, be innovative, collaborative and creative on coming up with products that will help them explore their ideas and own appetite for going into business for themselves.”

This year for the first time Enterprise Ireland are asking students to submit a video that captures how great their idea is and shows commercial and export potential. Other features of the competition include a website, Facebook page, Twitter account and podcasts – reaching out to students in the world that they know best. Enterprise Ireland are currently supporting all of the internal entrepreneurship competitions within the institutions on the island of Ireland with a €500 cash sponsorship prize for each college.

Regional executives from Enterprise Ireland will be presenting the details of the competition to all colleges and institutions between now and the closing date for the competition on March 17th 2014.