600 Potential Entrepreneurs Told Money is No Obstacle

YEP Students Hear They Are the Future Young Entrepreneur Programme Students Hear They Are the Future  

One of Irelandâ¿¿s leading entrepreneurs and charity supremos Niall Mellon told 600 students from Kerry and Limerick today that money and lack of contacts were no barriers to success if you have the creativity, drive and patience to succeed.

The students were embarking on a year-long entrepreneurship programme designed to introduce them to the world of entrepreneurship and to develop a set of lifelong transferable skills.

The Young Entrepreneur Programme, developed by the Institute of Technology, Tralee, Shannon Development and Jerry Kennelly, is now in its third year and has become a staple on the curriculum of secondary schools and for third level students in the region. This year the programme has expanded to take in Limerick Secondary Schools and the University of Limerick.

⿿Billions of people less fortunate than all of you would love to be in the seats you⿿re in,⿝ said the head of the Niall Mellon Township Trust at the programme⿿s Blue Sky Day in the Brandon Hotel in Tralee. ⿿Creativity, motivation and a lack of fear to stop what you are doing and try something else are the key elements of entrepreneurship. Never be afraid to stay away from the herd and take a different road.⿝

One in five students in Kerry study entrepreneurship, more than anywhere else in Ireland and yesterday they heard from some of Irelandâ¿¿s leading entrepreneurs such as Anne Oâ¿¿Leary, founder of Cadco, Tony Allen whose SpiderCatcher invention is selling across the globe and the Dragonâ¿¿s Den Bobby Kerr of Insomnia.

Kerr, known for his acerbic tongue in the TV hit series offered the students an open invitation: ⿿If you think you have a great idea then come on the show ⿿ it⿿s the best exposure you can ever get.⿝

They also heard from last yearâ¿¿s winner, Aisling Ni Shúilleabháin, whose idea and business plan for Kiddie Krawlies - a range of comfortable and fashionable kneepads for babies and toddlers â¿¿ has now become a reality with the finished product about to go to market.

⿿Pitching my idea to my own classmates was the hardest thing of all⿝, she said. ⿿But my mentors always told me that the best ideas are those that solve problems. The plan now for Kiddie Krawlies is to have them in the shops for Christmas. I never dreamed this time last year when I was sitting in the audience at Blue Sky Day that I would be in this position now,⿝ said the Dingle fifth-year student.

Students on the Young Entrepreneur Programme will learn how to put their business idea to paper and how to craft a unique business model.   They will experience the benefit of learning in an interactive and fun environment.   Students will learn how to pitch their business idea at Business Boot Camp and how to fine tune the financials at the Business Plan WorkShop.  

Teachers, lecturers and mentors, supported by the Institute of Technology, Tralee and Shannon Development, will be involved at every stage to ensure students are given the best possible induction to the skills of starting a business.   As part of teacher training teachers have had the opportunity to work on taking their own business idea from concept to business plan.

The 600 students from over 21 schools, along with IT,Tralee and UL will also be mentored by top business people from businesses in the region, adding the critical reality check to the different business ideas and support to the educator and school.

Michael Carmody, President of IT, Tralee said: ⿿These students are the job creators of the future. If only five per cent of the people taking part build successful businesses you⿿re looking at up to 1,000 new jobs. That⿿s why programmes such as these are the real drivers of economic recovery.⿝

One of the drivers of the programme, Stockbyte founder Jerry Kennelly agreed: â¿¿We need young people coming through with the skills to drive our economy by creating   new businesses and new ideas. YEP is the only education programme in the country specifically designed to identify, nurture and encourage this talent.⿝

Shannon Developmentâ¿¿s Marie Lynch, manager of Kerry Technology Park said the programme is a natural part of the regionâ¿¿s commitment to entrepreneurship

This year there are three category winners: Second Level, Third Level, Best School. Second level winner will receive a trip to Silicon Valley. Third level winner will receive €5,000 seed capital.   Best school will receive an IT package to the value of €5,000.   The shortlisted finalists will receive a 2 week apprenticeship with mentor companies.

For More Information:

Brita Lyons, IT, Tralee: 066 719 1705/087 2998616