Clounagh Junior High School pupils and Young Enterprise teamed up to showcase a business project recently at Celebrate Success 2015 in Titanic Belfast.
Around 650 young entrepreneurs took part in the event supported by Invest Northern Ireland, with Clounagh’s ‘The Beech Company’ upcycling old pallets into decorative planters.
Clounagh enjoyed backing from Young Enterprise thanks to the charity’s business start-up programme.
Education Minister John O’Dowd praised the achievements of the young people in developing skills that will benefit them in life and work.
He said: “Young people of today are the leaders and innovators of tomorrow and we need to equip them with the right skills and knowledge for them to succeed in life and work.
“In order to build a vibrant economy, we need to ensure that young people are encouraged not just to follow traditional paths but those that may lead to exciting new career paths, such as starting a new business.
“As the leading business and education charity in the north, my Department supports Young Enterprise to deliver a suite of programmes to primary and post-primary schools. These programmes are instrumental in helping pupils develop the skills and entrepreneurial vision that can help build a vibrant economy.
“I congratulate Young Enterprise, the students and the teachers and in particular the business volunteers, without whom the programmes would not be possible.”
Assumption Grammar School’s BIG Event Management was awarded the area’s Innovation and Social Enterprise awards while Regent House Grammar School’s CollaborEAT received the Marketing award in Titanic Belfast.
Stephen Wightman, Invest Northern Ireland, said: “Entrepreneurship is core to any growing economy and it is important that we inspire our young people through the world of business and provide them with the skills and confidence they need to pursue their ambition. Invest NI believes that young people have a huge role to play in developing the successful businesses of the future.
“Innovative new business start-ups are an important source of wealth creation and employment.”
Young Enterprise Northern Ireland is part-funded by the Department of Education with support from the business sector. For more information about Young Enterprise and to see how you can get involved visit yeni.co.uk.