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A Cobh primary school scoops award in Junior Entrepreneur Programme

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Cian Kelleher, Ruadhan Jackson and Rory O’Sullivan Bunscoil Rinn An Chabhlaigh, Cobh, Junior Entrepreneur Programme award winners. BSRAC Bags – hand-designed, eco-friendly shopping bags is the creation of Gary Stephenson’s 6th class at Bunscoil Rinn An Chabhlaigh, Cobh, for the Junior Entrepreneur Programme. The pupils received the Tech Titans Award in recognition of the BSRAC class business. The Tech Titans award recognises classes that excel in the use of technology across several aspects of the project, including sales, marketing, communications, or production. PIC CREDIT: JERRY KENNELLY.

9,000 children have launched start-up businesses while still in primary school. The pupils from almost 300 schools island-wide taking part in the 12th year of the Junior Entrepreneur Programme (JEP) experienced what it’s really like to be a start-up entrepreneur, doing market research and agonising over their final business plan before investing their own money and putting their business in motion. The pupils combined their innate creativity with the skills they developed on the programme to create original products and launch businesses ranging from board games to storybooks to high-end craft and educational products. 

Three Cork primary schools claimed major awards in the Junior Entrepreneur Programme:

Isabelle O’Connell, Lulul Greene and Erin Hornibrook, Bunscoil Rinn An Chabhlaigh, Cobh, Junior Entrepreneur Programme award winners. BSRAC Bags – hand-designed, eco-friendly shopping bags is the creation of Gary Stephenson’s 6th class at Bunscoil Rinn An Chabhlaigh, Cobh, for the Junior Entrepreneur Programme. The pupils received the Tech Titans Award in recognition of the BSRAC class business. The Tech Titans award recognises classes that excel in the use of technology across several aspects of the project, including sales, marketing, communications, or production.PIC CREDIT: JERRY KENNELLY

Beaumont Boys National School, Cork City were awarded the Community Champions Award for their class business, Workout. The boys devised an innovative and fun board game that requires players to do exercises to move along the board. The game was fully tested and produced to a very high standard. The Community Champions award recognises the efforts of the pupils who made an impact in their community through innovation, education and entrepreneurship. Their class teacher, Ciara Bourke, confirmed the class made a profit of €1200. 

Bunscoil Rinn An Chabhlaigh in Cobh was also one of the award winners for their project BSRAC Bags – hand-designed, eco-friendly shopping bags. Each pupil invested €5 each (€150) and their teacher invested €100 to bring their total capital to €250. The pupils forecasted a profit of approximately €500 through selling 100 bags. They were delighted at the end of the project to make a profit of €1840 and sell 347 bags.

Gary Stephenson’s 6th class received the Tech Titans Award in special recognition of the BSRAC project. The Tech Titans award recognises classes that excel in the use of technology across several aspects of the project including sales, marketing, communications, or production. Tech Titans move beyond the realm of digital consumers and become competent technology creators – they marry technology with creativity and learning to enhance their overall JEP experience. 

Timoleague National School created Timoleague Times Past, Present and Future, a magazine about the people of Timoleague. Thoroughly researched and edited, the 64-page publication is packed with interviews with locals, as well as sketches, photos and puzzles. The sixth class pupils negotiated with shops in the village, and the local post office to stock the magazine. They received the Finance Wizards Award both for their ingenuity in funding the project and their eventual profit of €2,060. Their class teacher, Anne McCarthy, said she was extremely proud of the work ethic and perseverance of the pupils.

Cork schools have always featured prominently in the JEP Programme, and this year was no different. This year a total of 47 teachers in the county signed their classes up for the programme. Other schools that participated included; 

Scoil Bhríde, Midleton, Co. Cork; Scoil Mhuire, Kilbolane, Milford; Clogheen Mixed National School, Kerry Pike, Carrigrohane; Bartlemy National School Rathcormac; St. Mary’s National School, Cobh; Barryroe National School, Lislevane; Douglas Rochestown Educate Together National School, Moneygourney; Bandonbridge National School, Clancool, Bandon; Scoil An Athar Tadhg, Carraig Na Bhfear; Glantane National School, Brittas, Lombardstown; Templebrady National School, Crosshaven, and Scoil Cnoc Sceach, Clonakilty.

“Pupils from Bunscoil Rinn An Chabhlaigh react to the announcement that their class were award winners in the 2022 Junior Entrepreneur Programme. School Principal Sinéad Flannery pictured on the right. PIC CREDIT: JERRY KENNELLY

Managing Director, Marie Lynch, commented, “Participation by schools has returned to close to pre-pandemic levels and JEP has become a rite of passage for children in many primary schools before they move on to secondary school. Teachers indicate a huge increase in confidence and life skills as well as a strong reinforcement of the primary school curriculum in Maths, English, Art and SPHE” she added.

Approximately 90,000 pupils have participated in JEP since its inception in 2010. In an exciting development for the programme, Enterprise Ireland has supported JEP in 2021 and 2022 under its Primary Schools Entrepreneurship Initiative, underlining the vital role of entrepreneurship in shaping Ireland’s future.  

Lucy Tobin, Bunscoil Rinn An Chabhlaigh, Cobh, Junior Entrepreneur Programme award winners. BSRAC Bags – hand-designed, eco-friendly shopping bags is the creation of Gary Stephenson’s 6th class at Bunscoil Rinn An Chabhlaigh, Cobh, for the Junior Entrepreneur Programme. The pupils received the Tech Titans Award in recognition of the BSRAC class business. The Tech Titans award recognises classes that excel in the use of technology across several aspects of the project, including sales, marketing, communications, or production.PIC CREDIT: JERRY KENNELLY. NO REPRODUCTION FEE

A total of 12 JEP awards were announced:

Class of the Year:

5th & 6th Class Sacred Heart National School, Aughrim, Co. Wicklow

Alfie’s Aughrim Adventures

Creative Pioneers:

5th Class St. Mary’s National School, Athlone, Co. Westmeath 

Cool Cards Inc.

Change Agents:

6th Class Farnham National School, Drumelis, Co. Cavan

Climate Change Awareness Colouring Book

Finance Wizards:

6th Class Timoleague National School, Timoleague, Co. Cork

Timoleague Times Past, Present, Future

Go Green:

5th & 6th Class St. Mogue’s National School, Currin, Ballyconnell, Co. Cavan

Bee-Friendly ‘Ready To Go’ Window Boxes

Star Submission:

6th Class Ballycanew National School, Ballycanew, Co. Wexford

Go-Bag

Health Heroes:

6th Class Rathoe National School, Rathoe, Co. Carlow

Workbook of Wellbeing

Genius Product:

5th & 6th Class Lawrencetown National School, Lawrencetown, Co. Galway

Irish Horseshoes 

Tech Titans:

6th Class Bunscoil Rinn An Chabhlaigh, Cobh, Co.Cork

BSRAC Bags

Marketing Gurus:

5th Class St. Mary’s National School, Donnybrook, Dublin 4 

Beeswax Wraps

Community Champions:

4th & 5th Class Beaumont Boys School, Beaumont, Cork City

Workout

Top Teams:

3rd-6th Class Drumnacurra National School, Causeway, Co. Kerry

Little Shop of Stitches 

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