Young Student Entrepreneurs Rise to the New 10x Challenge

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Students from Limerick and Dublin have won a new national enterprise competition supported by M&G plc.

The 10x Challenge programme provides social and sustainable benefits to young people, their teachers and their communities, while fostering skills such as entrepreneurship, financial capability, collaboration and digital interaction.

The Cosy Closures logo for bespoke bird feeder gifts won Best Logo

Over four weeks, small teams of young people aged 11 to 16 years old start and run a mini enterprise, beginning with just €10.  Products and services are researched, developed and traded over the four-week period culminating in teams submitting entries for a range of award.  Whilst profit is an overall objective of the programme the focus is on the skills-based learning that the young people are gaining in a real-life context.

Cosy Closures, a mini-enterprise created by transition year students Eoin Naughton, Gavin Ryder, Nathan Shanhan and Kieran O’ Callaghan from Desmond College, Limerick took home the ‘Best Logo’ award.

Cnoc Candles set up by 6th Class in Cnoc Mhuire Senior School, Tallaght, Dublin 24 took home the ‘Best Sales Pitch’ award.

This was the pilot year for the 10X Challenge in Ireland with three schools participating and more than a dozen mini-enterprises designing logos and delivering 60 second sales pitches which were judged by a panel of volunteers from M&G Plc.

Cnoc Candles won Best Sales Pitch for their handmade candles

The programme has been running in the UK for eight years with over 200,000 young people developing the critical skills to learn to earn and manage their money. 

With the support of M&G plc, Junior Achievement are enriching and scaling the initiative across several markets in Europe: Ireland, France, Germany, Poland, Spain and Italy as well as the UK.

This exciting three-year partnership will create a scalable, sector leading programme that will equip more than 100,000 students (aged 11-16) across Europe with the enterprise and financial capability skills needed to achieve success in today’s global economy.

Furthermore, it will empower more teachers to be confident about teaching financial capability, and increase the accessibility of teaching about long-term savings and investment within secondary schools. A key component of JA programmes is local business engagement and the 10X Challenge will include a mix of digital and face-to-face volunteering, which will reflect the different cultural context across European schools.

Jane Rawnsley, Group Head of Corporate Responsibility at M&G plc said: “We are committed to supporting our local communities and equipping people with the skills, tools and opportunities to be financially secure. The 10X Challenge provides a valuable foundation for young people to develop their confidence, resilience and a wide range of skills which will help underpin success in future education and employment pathways.”

Helen Raftery, CEO of JAI, commented on this new initiative: “In these turbulent times, young people need to future proof their careers by developing transferable skills such as problem solving and team work, alongside core skills like financial and digital literacy, to have the confidence and agility to be resilient, adapt and thrive in the job market. I am extremely grateful to M&G plc for enabling this important programme to extend to Ireland.”

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