Ballymahon, Granard and Moyne teenage entrepreneurs to represent Longford

Final of County Longford Student Enterprise Programme sends three schools to Nationals

Press Release: 11 March

Teenage entrepreneurs from Ardscoil Phádraig in Granard, Moyne Community School, and Ballymahon Vocational School will represent County Longford at this year’s Student Enterprise Programme National Final on Thursday, 9 May in The Mullingar Park Hotel.

The students all took part in the County Longford final on Thursday, 29 February which was held in The Longford Arms.  An estimated 250 students from seven local schools took part in the annual programme.

The enterprise education initiative, funded by the Government of Ireland through Enterprise Ireland and delivered by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices in local authorities throughout the country, saw over 28,000 students from just under 500 secondary schools across the country take part in 2022-2023.  The programme supports students to create, design and market their own business, all with the hope of reaching the national final.

In the junior category, Longford will be represented at the national final by Maria Kelly from ‘Hat Scents’ at Ardscoil Phadraig, Granard.

Grainne McKenna and Sarah Mollaghan from ‘Trendy Threads’ at Moyne Community School will be representing the county at the national final in the intermediate category.

Finally, in the senior category of the competition, County Longford will be represented on 9 May in Dublin by Kiera Hopkins, Lára Flood and Grace Cassells from ‘Handle Holders’ at Ballymahon Vocational School.

Along with Director of Services with Longford County Council Barbara Heslin, special guests at the Longford final event included Longford County Council Cathaoirleach Cllr Colm Murray, Senator Micheál Carrigy, and elected members of Longford County Council, Cllr Seamus Butler, Cllr Mick Cahill and Cllr Colin Dalton. Longford Chamber of Commerce representatives Brian Crossan and Joe Raleigh were also in attendance.

Longford has a successful track record in the Student Enterprise Programme. Caitlin Morris from Moyne Community School created history last year by winning first prize in the Intermediate Category at the national finals in 2023. Other recent Longford successes include Best Endeavour in 2022 for ‘Saoirse’s Bakes and Cakes’ from Moyne Community School, Best Commercial Potential in 2021 for ‘Handy Hooks’ from Ballymahon Vocational School, Best Commercial Potential Award 2018 for ‘Reel Easy’ from Moyne Community School and second place in the Senior Category in 2017 for ‘J & S Kitchen Aid’ from Mercy Secondary School in Ballymahon.

Speaking at the county final, Cathaoirleach Cllr Colm Murray said, “We have a very successful Student Enterprise Programme here in Longford. Our national finalists are excellent ambassadors for the programme, and we wish them the very best of luck in May - we will all be supporting them.”

Director of Services with Longford County Council Barbara Heslin congratulated all of the students involved, adding “What our students are learning from the programme is that with the right support and encouragement, they can take an idea from the classroom and develop it into a real-life business. The skills they learn along the way, such as business planning, market research, selling and teamwork, will help them become more entrepreneurial throughout their future careers”.

The local students will be competing against hundreds of other student entrepreneurs from all over Ireland at the Student Enterprise Programme National Final, taking place in the Mullingar Park Hotel on Thursday, 9 May 2024.

For further information on the Student Enterprise Programme, please contact Anna Lane at your Local Enterprise Office in Longford by email to, or call 043 334 33 49.