Young Entrepreneur Programme and Awards - A Vision For Entrepreneurial Education In Kerry

Young Enterprise Programme Launch
Who will be Kerryâ¿¿s Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2008?

€11,000 Prize Fund

A new and innovative Awards Programme, aimed at inspiring and encouraging Kerryâ¿¿s next generation of entrepreneurs, will be officially launched a photo-call in the Institute of Technology, Tralee at 10am on Monday 10th of September.

The inaugural Young Entrepreneur Programme & Awards will initially run in 11 Secondary Schools and the Institute of Technology Tralee from mid September to May 2008. In total, it is expected that over 300 students will complete the annual Programme, which features formal classroom sessions with written examinations, interactive on- line support, and, importantly, direct exposure to many of Irelandâ¿¿s most successful entrepreneurs through mentoring and open days.

The Programme will culminate at an Awards Ceremony next May 2008, when one student will be declared Kerryâ¿¿s Young Entrepreneur of the Year! In addition to receiving a cheque for €5,000 and a specially commissioned trophy, the true prize could prove to be the lessons learnt - that ultimately inspire the winner to develop as a successful Irish or even global entrepreneur. The annual Awards will also recognise the Educators with presentation of cash prize and trophy for â¿¿Best Educatorâ¿¿ and â¿¿Educator of Winning Entryâ¿¿. Jerry Kennelly, Young Entrepreneur Executive, commented â¿¿This is a unique programme which is the result of educators, state bodies, entrepreneurs, private sector companies and individuals pooling their resources for the common good. Many of Irelandâ¿¿s entrepreneurs, including myself, didnâ¿¿t get an opportunity to learn skills that will be taught during this Programme early enough in life. So now, it is our vision that this Programme will inspire young people to think about self employment as a career option and give them a taste of what itâ¿¿s like to bring their ideas to fruition and create something the rest of the world will find useful⿝.

The Young Entrepreneur Programme is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to illustrating the validity of entrepreneurship as a career choice. It is managed by a six person executive, who have been working on the initiative since mid 2006. The Programmeâ¿¿s stated mission is to help identify, inform, recognise and celebrate Kerryâ¿¿s next generation of business leaders - and their educators. As well as the support and resources of the ITT, Tom Crean Centre and Kerry Technology Park, the Programme has been widely supported by local businesses with financial donations. Uniquely, the main media players in the county, The Kerryman, Kerryâ¿¿s Eye, The Kingdom and Radio Kerry have all also come on board to raise awareness of the Programme throughout its duration with both advertising and editorial support. This pan-community alliance of finances and resources has ensured that every student who registers to participate the Programme will receive comprehensive reading and reference material, on line support and attendance at opening days at no cost.

The first main event is the Young Entrepreneur Blue Sky Day on Tuesday 18th of September in the Brandon Hotel Conference, Tralee, County Kerry. Featuring a whoâ¿¿s who of Irish â¿¿high flyersâ¿¿, including Padraig Oâ¿¿Ceidigh (Aer Arann); Mike Fitzgerald (Altobridge) and Eamonn and Brian Fallon, (, the day promises to be as inspirational as it will be educational. The event will be Mcâ¿¿ed by TV presenter Síle Seoige. Registered students will be admitted free, but tickets are also available to be purchased by the general public. Telephone 066 7191990. FULL NEWS STATEMENT WILL BE ISSUED PRIOR TO EVENT. Photo call will be held on the day. Schools still wishing to participate in the Programme should contact Brita Lyons now on 066 7191990.