Student Entrepreneurs Claim National Crown
Cothú Cinnte, a company from Coláiste Chroí Mhuire, An Spidéal, Co. Galway was acclaimed as the winner of the Údarás na Gaeltachta – Clár Comhlachta 2017 at the national final held at the Connamara Coast Hotel on the 15th March.
With more than 500 Transition Year students taking part in Gaeltacht regions in Cork, Galway, Donegal, Kerry, Mayo, Meath & Waterford, eight teams were ultimately selected to proceed to the national final. The standards set by these regional winners means the winner of the Clár Comhlachta can be regarded as particularly astute entrepreneurs.
Cothú Cinnte is comprised of Liadh Robertson, Rebecca Ní Alluráin, Aoife Nic Chormaic, Blanca Ní Dhonnabhain and Maire Ní Fhrighil. The company produces hand-painted, glazed dinner plates, depicting areas for starch, vegetables and protein. The areas are labelled as gaeilge and can be personalised when ordered! Their aim is to promote healthy eating and encourage people to include more vegetables in their diet. Cothú Cinnte was mentored by local business volunteer Barry Comerford from Cambus Medical.
Alongside the winning company from Coláiste Chroí Mhuire, An Spidéal teams from Scoil Mhuire, Béal Átha’n Ghaorthaidh, Cork; Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne, An Daingean, Kerry; Scoil Phobail Mhic Dara, Carna, Galway; Scoil Mhuire, Béal A’ Mhuirthead, Mayo; Coláiste Pobail, Acla, Mayo; Pobalscoil Ghaoth Dobhair, Leitir Ceanainn, Donegal; Gairmscoil Mhic Diarmada, Árainn Mhór, Donegal, represented their families, their business mentors and their schools with distinction at the national finals.
Clár Comhlachta is a hands-on business learning experience developed and delivered in partnership with Junior Achievement Ireland (JAI) and is taught through the Irish language to students attending schools in Gaeltacht regions. Based on the well-established JA Company Programme and Company of the Year Competition, students create, operate and manage their own business as they move from the idea generation stage, to production, marketing, sales, finance right through to going to market. The programme provides numerous opportunities for the development and reinforcement of important academic and leadership skills. Local business volunteers, each of whom isrecruited, trained and supported by JAI, mentor the students alongside their teachers.
The Clár Comhlachta national final followed the regional finals, which this year took place in Kerry, Mayo, Galway and Donegal. Over the course of the national final, the emerging entrepreneurs exhibited at trade stands, displayed their business acumen during the judges’ interview and held their nerve to present their business ideas on stage in front of a public audience.