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Padraic McElwee, Head of Enterprise Local Enterprise Office Clare presenting Mae Kivlehan with her county award at Scoil Mhuire Ennistymon. Picture: Arthur Ellis.

Clare student’s recipe for success at national enterprise awards

A CLARE student has taken second prize in the Intermediate Category at the National Final of this year’s Student Enterprise Programme.
Mae Kivlehan, from Scoil Mhuire Ennistymon, was awarded for ‘Tried & Tested, which was a cookbook with a compilation of recipes from sports stars, celebrities and locals.
The winning student worked under the guidance of her teachers, Laura Garvey and Caitriona Hynes.
The finals of the Local Enterprise Office initiative were broadcast virtually on Friday from Croke Park with An Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and Ambassador Derval O’Rourke speaking with host RTE’s Rick O’Shea, as students and teachers watched on from across the country.
The Junior Category was represented by The Art Co from Scoil Mhuire, Ennistymon and the Senior Category was represented by Portable Pouches from St. Joseph’s Secondary School, Spanish Point.
Praising the winning students and all those representing Clare at the National Finals, Padraic McElwee with Local Enterprise Office Clare said: “This is a proud day for student enterprise in Clare. We would like to congratulate the students, their families and their teachers at Scoil Mhuire, Ennistymon on winning this national award in Croke Park. We would also like to pay tribute to all the other finalists and participants from Clare who are impressive ambassadors for student enterprise in the county.”
He continued: “Year-on-year the Student Enterprise Programme continues to produce the very best of ingenuity and entrepreneurship amongst our secondary school students.
“It’s no surprise to see the challenges thrown up by the pandemic featuring in many of the businesses and the ongoing willingness for students to create businesses that not only sell services or products, but that help address ongoing issues in society.
“We see every year that the National Finals are not an end point for our student entrepreneurs, but a stepping stone on the next stage of their entrepreneurial journey. From our class of 20/21 we will see some business leaders and global entrepreneurs of the future emerge.”
There were 72 student enterprises competing in this year’s National Final in what is Ireland’s largest entrepreneurship programme for second level students.
The 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 29,000 students from almost 500 secondary schools across the country take part.
An Tánaiste, Leo Varadkar, who took part in the ceremony, said “Congratulations to not only the finalists being recognised here today, but to everyone who took part in the competition.
“To be a finalist in the Student Enterprise Programme is a fantastic achievement in normal times and it’s incredible given everything that’s happened this past year.
“Everyone who took part should be very proud of all that they have achieved. Special mention to their teachers, parents and all those who helped them along the way.
“The ability to create an idea, turn it into a business and to run that business is a skill that will be invaluable later in life.
“Ireland has a proud history of entrepreneurship and no doubt those here today will all go on to achieve great things. Government will back you every step of the way.”

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