A number of students from Banbridge Academy, Newbridge Integrated College, St Patrick’s College and Dromore High School have participated in the Young Enterprise programme, showcasing their products for sale to the public at St George’s Market, Belfast.
St George’s Market hosted over 700 students from over 60 schools across Northern Ireland, who showcased their start-up businesses at the event, as well as their products, which they developed from conception to production in just three months.
The programme takes each student on a business start-up journey that enables the development of business and entrepreneurial skills, while giving them their first opportunity to trade by launching their product for sale at The Big Market.
The students are responsible for developing an initial product idea, developing it into a real product for sale, creating a business plan, raising capital to fund production, before marketing and selling their product to the general public – hopefully generating a profit.
Young people from the ages of 10 to 18 were selling everything from handmade jewellery to a new brand of locally sourced coffee, and from wooden mobile phone cases to a new app for dog walkers.
Gadget Central from St Patrick’s College won the Most Commendable Team Award on the day, with teacher Aisling McKay commenting: “I would highly recommend the Young Enterprise Programme, we had a fantastic day at The Big Market.”
St Patrick’s College had a double award success with company Slimy Business, who won the Quickstart Award. Teacher Anne Marie Canavan said: “Slimy Business is this year’s fidget spinner. It has different textures and strengths to help reduce stress for the user. Chloe Whitla (12) is the Slime Maker, as it was her idea.”
Chloe said: “I can’t believe it. Dealing with customers was the best part of the day. I definitely want to be involved in business when I grow up.”
Carol Fitzsimons, CEO of Young Enterprise, said: “Throughout the day we watched young entrepreneurs execute all their learning from the programmes to connect with, not just their customers, but also their competitors and team-mates on the day.”