A group of Monkstown pupils faced up to the dragons and won a coveted business award as part of a Young Enterprise scheme.
A team of junior entrepreneurs from Monkstown Community School saw off stiff competition from five other teams with their business idea.
They came up with a variety of products including earrings, shambala bracelets, bangle pens and personalised drinking glasses that proved to the tough judging panel that their ideas had the potential to be a market winner.
The QuickStart programme provides secondary school students with an opportunity to set up and run a real company over a 10 week period.
The programme was run by Young Enterprise Northern Ireland and supported by Ulster Bank, both financially and through the active involvement of branch and business centre volunteers who deliver the MoneySense programme in schools.
The final was held at Ulster Bank Headquarters in Belfast where each team had to pitch their idea to four business leaders and convince them that theirs was best.
The pupils made the case for their product range and showed that with their bracelets, earrings and personalised drinking glasses they could develop their concept and get it to market.
Carol Fitzsimons, chief executive of Young Enterprise, said: “QuickStart was designed to give students their first experience of enterprise, to develop themselves in preparation for the world of work.
“We are delighted to have the support of Ulster Bank for the third year running and, judging from the creativity and entrepreneurship demonstrated, the students have already benefitted greatly from the mentoring provided by the Ulster Bank volunteers. It is essential that these skills continue to be nurtured, in order to ensure that our future business leaders are entrepreneurial, creative and commercially aware.”
Ian Jordan, director of corporate banking at the Ulster Bank added: “Supporting business and enterprise is important to us at Ulster Bank and each year we are encouraged by the energy and enthusiasm shown by the students who take part in the QuickStart programme.
“Learning about finance and business are important skills for young people as they get ready to make the move into employment. The lessons delivered by our business volunteers provide practical support throughout each stage in getting a business up and running, and as today’s student companies show, there is no shortage of entrepreneurial spirit in Northern Ireland’s young people.”