The Youth Entrepreneur of the Year competition is a highlight of the Foróige year where the Top nine youth driven businesses in the country, who have participated in the NFTE Youth Entrepreneurship Programme, are invited to present their achievements to an expert panel of Judges. The competition took place online this year with young people taking part in both regional and semi final competitions to be selected as a finalist.
The Foróige Innovator of the Year finalists included; Catie Byrne, aged 15, from St.Dominic’s College, Ballyfermot with her business Caties Scrunchies. Catie’s Handmade Scrunchies, inspired by her mother’s love of upcycling and desire to be environmentally conscious, sources materials for the scrunchies from old clothing to avoid contributing to “fast fashion”. And Julie Tran Nguyen is the owner of Resin Inspired. Julie from Coláiste Bríde in Clondalkin, has created bespoke handmade resin jewellery. Each piece is personally crafted by Julie Tran Nguyen who used Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship to develop a new skill in jewellery making.
The winners were announced recently via Zoom hosted by leading youth development organisation Foróige.
Seán Campbell, CEO Foróige said “The NFTE Programme changes the lives of young people by enabling them to develop core skills in business and enterprise, and in doing so, helping them to unlock their individual talents and potential. It puts the career path of ‘entrepreneur’ firmly in the sights of the young participants and gives them an ‘I can and I will’ attitude that is quite remarkable. This attitude has enabled these young people to persevere through the past few turbulent months, to continue with the programme and to develop their impressive businesses. “We have been incredibly fortunate to receive Dormant Accounts funding through the Department of Education and Skills and corporate support from basis.point and JP Morgan to grow the Foróige NFTE programme. Over 4,000 young people and 120 Schools and Youth Projects right across the country took part this year and this is something that we are incredibly proud of. “Against the backdrop of a global pandemic, the young people of NFTE showed their resilience and determination to continue with over 90% of participants continuing with their businesses and completing the programme. “The winning groups will also have the thrilling opportunity to represent Ireland at the European Youth Entrepreneur Awards in Vienna in 2021”.
The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) Programme is a world recognised, youth entrepreneurship education and development programme, provided by Foróige in Ireland. It is affiliated to NFTE International.
Pictured above is Julie Tran Nguyen from Coláiste Bríde in Clondalkin.