The Student Enterprise Programme Laois Schools County Final took place in the Midlands Park Hotel in Portlaoise today with a dazzling array of young Laois innovators on show.
Eight secondary schools were represented at the awards with 35 teams displaying their mini-enterprises at the event.
The students worked tirelessly throughout the day, setting up their stalls from 9am, with judges visiting stands from 9.30am to 12 noon.
Founder of Digital Training Institute and Public Sector Marketing Pros Joanne Sweeney Burke spoke about the importance of young entrepreneurship, which helped her in her 18-year career in all forms of professional communications.
The competition was judged by Gemma Purcell from IT Carlow and Paul Muldowney from Bank of Ireland.
The group, made up of Park-Ratheniska trio Simon Fingleton, Noah Fingleton and Marc Ramsbottom, came out of top for their business.
Mountrath CS group MK Stitching – which included Jake Kirwan and Darragh McSpadden – came third, while second place went to Scoil Chriost Ri’s Ebony’s Kitchen, set up by Ebony Onalimi.
The Creative design award went Colaiste Iosagain’s Jessica McDarby for her business ‘Personalised Hand Painted Shows’.
Portlaoise College’s Caoimhe Dunne, Jade Brennan, Norbert Burnos, Nathan Dowling and Alomide Olotu won the Technology award with their business ‘Game Changer Kits’.
The Innovation award went to Arianne Conroy, Taylor Culliton Conroy, Eve Tarpey, Aimee Cousins and Joshua Gill from Mountmellick Community School for ‘Magic Fairy Doors’.
LaoisToday went along and caught up with some of the brilliant minds who will hopefully lead business in our county in the coming years.
Check out our pictures below: