Harnessing the Energy of Young Entrrepreneurs
Recently I was asked to be one of the Judges in the Kildare County final of the Student Enterprise Awards. In advance of my attendance on the Monday, 3rd March, I got copies of the individual Business Plans of the 24 entries. I have to say I just could not believe the quality of the ideas, the marketing and the sheer confidence that was displayed both in the Plan and on the day of the county Final.
The day started wherein the three judges (me included) had to visit the individual exhibition stands. The students were incredible, talking confidently about their product, how they came up with the idea and how the business was going for them. It was obvious that a lot of hard work was put into making the business work. As this was my first time to be a Judge, I have to say I was massively excited by the energy in the room and it just gave me a great hope for the future. If these young entrepreneurs continue with this learning, the future looks very bright for all of us.
You know all of them were winners on that day. All of them. I remember saying this to a teacher friend of mine that I just hated the fact that there was not a prize for everyone in the room. He said that this is also learning for the student in that you cannot win everything and that you have to learn how to deal with the disappointments. You know I never thought of this really on the day, as I was so taken up with all of them. And he is right. In business, we also have our own disappointments and we have to learn from them, take it on the chin and move on. So I feel much better now knowing that they will have learned this valuable lesson.
There were six prizes given out for Innovation, Business Plan, and their Presentation on the day, Best Exhibition Stand, Runner-Up and the final Winner. The winner was a young girl called Niamh and her business is called Pink & Smokey. Her product is a range of make-up brushes, which she designed personally, her packaging is great, all pink and feminine and already six beauty salons are stocking her product for sale. I loved her confidence, which was lovely as she was comparing herself to Mac and L’Oreal – good on you Niamh! I always tell people who are starting out in business that they should always benchmark themselves against the best in the market otherwise you will always be average and Niamh was doing just that, bencharking herself against the market leaders.
All of them were winners in their own way and as my mother use to say someone had to win and that someone was Niamh and it was very well deserved. Hats off also to the team at the Kildare County Enterprise Board for all their hard work in putting this programme together and playing their part in harnessing the energy of the young entrepreneurs in Kildare.
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