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East & Dublin

Minister Simon Harris TD Joins JA Supporters at Pioneer Investments to Plot a Path to Future Success

The latest in the JAI Occasional Lecture Series was hosted by Pioneer Investments Management Ltd and enabled Minister Simon Harris, T.D., and Anindya Roy, Accenture to share their views on the future of the financial services industry and stimulate some very interesting exchanges with JA-invited guests from the sector this week. 

In welcoming everyone to Pioneer Investments, Robert Richardson, CEO, underlined his belief in the value of the work being done by his staff in volunteering with Junior Achievement and the critical nature of the work to promote financial literacy being championed by all the organisations represented at the breakfast briefing. 

Minister Harris articulated the vision for the sector set out in the IFS2020 strategy. In a wide-ranging address the Minister thanked all of the organisations represented for their investment in promoting financial literacy among the next generation and reinforced the value of enabling young students to participate in entrepreneurship education. “Such experiences allow young people to develop skills, including the need for resiliency in dealing with disruption, which will play an ever-greater role in the world of work and particular in this dynamic sector” he said. The Minster highlighted the goals of the working group on skills as a key part of the implementation of IFS Strategy 2020, and in chairing that group, he underlined his commitment to ensuring Ireland is well-placed to capitalise on opportunities in this industry into the future. He finished by welcoming the opportunity to hear the insights of industry leaders and the factors they see as priorities in terms of maintaining/ building the conditions for success, including developing future talent. 

Pioneer June 3rd with Minister Harris

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Microsoft - Make Maths Matter



75 Microsoft employees worked with Junior Achievement Ireland to reach out to 500 primary school students to enjoy a fun-filled maths skills workshop called Make Maths Matter. Microsoft hosted ‘Make Maths Matter’ at its Sandyford headquarters for local 5th and 6th class students on May 26th. Simultaneously, other Microsoft team members delivered the same programme in primary schools across Dublin to celebrate its 30th year in Ireland. 

MMM Microsoft May 2015

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CoYC National Finalist 2015

National Final of the Company of the Year Competition will take place this year in DCU Ryan Academy on the 13th/14th May. The finalists have come a long way from their classroom. From brainstorming to now actively selling, students have gained first-hand experience of how a business functions. Good luck to all of the National Finalist, and let’s see who will represent Ireland in Berlin, Germany at the JA European Final. 


Farm S.I.S.

FARM SISFARM S.I.S ‘Safety is Success’ is a mini company, from The Royal and Prior Comprehensive, selling jigsaw puzzles based on three themes; Beware Of the Bull, Stay Away From Moving Machinery, and Stay Away From Slurry Toxic Fumes. The puzzles were designed to raise awareness of the  dangers on a farm. The idea for this product came from the Finance  Manager James Rouslton when his neighbour was seriously injured in a farming accident during the summer of 2014. The mini-company qualified for the national final after they were named winners of the Donegal-Sligo regional final.

For more information about the mini-company and their product, follow them on Twitter


Step Up

step up Step Up is a transition year mini company, from the Royal School Cavan, which has    created  an electric tractor step for people with mobility problems when it comes to      entering and  exiting their tractor.Step Up qualified for the national final of the          competition   after they were named winners of the Monaghan-Cavan-Louth regional    final. 




Picture1 Shield is a mini-company producing and selling their productConnection Protection’. The product  is a small plastic device used to clip around the top of your charger to secure and   ensure that the charger end does not bend or fray. The company aims to resolve a very common problem so ‘Say    hello Connection Protection’ and goodbye to all broken chargers’. Shield was the Donegal-Sligo  Regional winners of the competition, qualifying for the national final.

 Follow Shield on Facebook and Twitter!



guide a key Guide a Key is a team of students from Desmond College, Newcastle West. The company  has  designed and manufactures a device which aids people with limited dexterity insert  their key  into a lock. Guide-a-key qualified for the national final after their win in the   Clare- Galway- Limerick regional final.  

  For more information, check out their website, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn!


Bella Bristles

bella bristlesBella Bristles, from Ardscoil na Trionoide, Athy, Kildare, offer individually painted and personalised hair rbushes to its customers, giving a 'one of a kind' feeling from the purchase of the product. Bella Bristles has a successful media reach and has seen great number of followers throughout its lifespan. The company was qualified for the national final of the competition after they were named winners of the Leinster regional final. 

Check out their website, or follow them on Facebook and Twitter!


ACE Devices

acedevices ACE Devices is a company consisting of five very dedicated students from St. Caimin's  Community School Shannon, Co. Clare. The company sells a device which protects  cables  for handheld devices aiming to lower the risk of fraying the end of the  chargers.  Ace  Devices were the winner of the Clare-Galway-Limerick regional final and thus qualified for  the national final in DCU Ryan Academy.

 Follow Ace Devices on their Twitter and Facebook!


Sláinte Kids

Slainte Kids 2Sláinte Kids, from St Joseph of Cluny, aims to combat childhood obesity by offering a pack containing useful and relevant information about this growing issue in Ireland. The pack contains reward charts, exercise cards, recipe cards and an information booklet  to help both parents and children to understand about healthy habits. The product has shown great response online, including retweets from Doctor Ciara Kelly and RTE’s Operation Transformation. The team was mentored by Kevin Maguire, PwC, to develop the idea and make it into a potential business.  Sláinte Kids qualified for the national final after they won in the Leinster regional final.

Follow them on Twitter and Facebook!


Perfect Portions

pp Perfect Portions is a mini company from St. Mary’s Secondary School, New Ross, Co.  Wexford. The company aims to raise awareness of the rising issue of childhood obesity  in  Ireland by a 7” portable portion divider. The company aims to inspire and promote a  healthy  lifestyle, to develop good eating habits and to make a difference.  Perfect  Portions was the  winner of the Munster regional final thus qualifying for the national  final.

  Follow the company on Facebook and Twitter!



changesChanges, from Bishoptown Community School, aims to challenge mental health in 30 days. Changes aims to raise awareness of Mental Health in young people and to  provide a practical way for young people to learn exactly what mental health is. Changes won the Munster regional final of the competition thus qualifying for         the national final held in DCU Ryan Academy.


Rainwater Harvester

rainwater harvester Rainwater Harvester, Colaiste Ris, Dundalk, Co.Louth, is a new innovative idea set up to  save customers on the new water charges by collecting rainwater, filtering and reusing  it  in the home or outside (e.g. car washing, gardening). Rain water harvester is a  compact  system that sits at the side of your house taking up very little ground space.  Rainwater  Harvester was the Monaghan-Cavan-Louth regional final winner of the  competition and  thus qualified for the national final held in DCU Ryan Academy. 


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Clondalkin Students Work It Out Through Sport!

Fidelity Investments and Xilinx combined forces with Junior Achievement Ireland to complete very successful ‘Working It Out’ events on 22nd and 23rd April at UCD Sports Centre. These fun-filled maths and games events were the culmination of the Make Maths Matter project, which has involved 126 children in West Dublin.

73 students from Talbot Senior National School, Bawnogue, Clondalkin and 53 students from St. Ronan’s National School, Deansrath, Clondalkin worked in teams, led by business volunteers from Xilinx and Fidelity Investments at the action-filled events. 

'Working It Out’ combines sports-related activities and maths to enable students to explore the relevance of maths in their everyday lives in a fun environment.  Maths exercises are enlivened, becoming the focal point of team activities in which students are encouraged to see the discipline in a different light, away from textbooks and copy books. Competing in basketball, football penalty shoot-outs, skipping, bowling and ring throw activities while practising mental arithmetic, calculating averages and compiling aggregate scores! Each activity incorporates a specific maths challenge, complementary to and reinforcing the school curriculum.



Junior Achievement aims to bridge the gap between school and the world of work and to inspire students at risk of early school leaving to remain in education.

This school year Junior Achievement will bring enterprise and life skills to 66,000 students all over the country in ca. 600 schools with the help of ca. 3,000 business volunteers.  A not-for-profit organisation, Junior Achievement is supported by more than 180 of Ireland’s leading business organisations in both the public and private sectors.

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Aspiring Entrepreneurs Enjoy AOL

AOL volunteers opened the doors of their offices last week to give local 6th Class students from St Patrick’s National School, Chapelizod a fantastic day in the company of their teacher, Jason and staff member, Maria. 

dragonss den AOLSome of the fantastic AOL Mentors: Ciara, John, Jose, Kieran, Ken, Gavin, Laura & Cian

From the moment of their arrival, the students took full advantage of the learning experience, studying the scale model of the very impressive nautical-themed complex on display at reception.

Travelling to the 10th floor, they were greeted by 12 AOL mentors who worked with each of the five teams to finalise their business projects. As well as taking on board the ‘Four Ps of Marketing’ (Price, Product, Promotion and Place), the students participated in conference calling and video linking. 


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