200 primary students from eight schools across Waterford city and county have participated in the LEAP Project, a unique entrepreneurial initiative supported by Waterford Local Enterprise Office in partnership with JAI.
This is LEAP’s second year of encouraging ‘early-stage entrepreneurship’ to primary school students, helping them learn how to become entrepreneurs and to enabling them to design a business plan focusing on innovation and enterprise.
The eight schools which took part are Passage East N.S., Holy Cross N.S., Light of Christ N.S. Kilmacthomas Primary School, Presentation Primary School, St. Saviour’s N.S., Mount Sion Primary School and St. Mary’s N.S.
In advance of the event local business volunteers Damien Tiernan (RTE), Karen Moynan (Tramore Credit Union), Christine Rossiter (Dawn Meats), Lisa McGowan (Bluefin), Danielle Kennedy (Lloyds Hair Salons), Ian Stenson (BioMarin Pharma), Catherine O’Brien (Q1 Scientific) and Roisín Hartley (Hartley People) delivered a series of activity based enterprise education workshops with the students in each school. This preparation carried out by the students on their ‘First Business’ served the students well at the LEAP event held in Waterford Institute of Technology on 29th and 30th May. Each of the four schools showcased their business ideas and presented them to additional local business people named FROGS (For Recognition of Greatness in Students).
Jacqui Gaule from Waterford Leo said: “One of our core values at Waterford LEO is to encourage the spirit of enterprise in our local community. Initiatives such as the LEAP Project are essential for fostering entrepreneurial attitudes and skills in the Waterford area. The creativity and innovation showed by the students was inspiring. To reach primary school students and sow the seed of self employment at this young age offers us the opportunity of a bright future for entrepreneurship in Waterford. We are delighted to partner with Junior Achievement on this wonderful project.”
Denise Power, Area Manager – South East for JAI, commented: “We are delighted to partner with Waterford LEO and local businesses on the LEAP Project. It is a fantastic journey for students to learn the basics of entrepreneurship and develop their own business ideas with the support of entrepreneurs from the local community. These mentors have shared their own real life experiences with the students and inspired and motivated them to become future entrepreneurs in the making. The students’ visit to WIT was a wonderful opportunity for them to pitch their ideas to business professionals for the first time outside the classroom and see how products could enter the market and impact their local community.”