Dominican College, Belfast has been selected as the winner of Invest Northern Ireland’s ‘The Future is Yours’ competition and will receive £5,000 to spend on IT equipment.
Team members, Grainne McKinney, Aideen Bradley, Sarah-Jane Maskey and Lorraine Quinn, aged 13 competed against seven other finalists to win the coveted prize after completing a Dragon’s Den-styled presentation to a select panel of judges.
With all entries based on a healthy living theme, the winners created a lunch box filled with a range of products designed to promote and encourage healthy living, including an interactive cd-rom and recipe book.
Each winner received a lap-top provided by Invest NI, the other finalists were awarded with their ow MP3 player as a runner-up prize.
Congratulating the winning team, Leslie Morrison, Chief Executive of Invest NI said:
“Well done to Dominican College, their idea was extremely creative and displayed the innovative flair essential for success in today’s business environment.
“We received a number of very high-calibre entries for the competition which proves that a significant percentage of young people across Northern Ireland possess a wealth of raw entrepreneurial talent.
“This needs to be nurtured throughout every stage of a child’s educational development, to ensure that Northern Ireland produces a new generation of entrepreneurs,” he continued.
Each team gave a 10 minute pitch to the judging panel, made up of Invest NI Board member Dr Bryan Keating, Jason Shankey, a local entrepreneur who runs a number of successful male-grooming salons, and an e-commerce business selling a wide-range of hair and beauty products, and Cindy Craig, founder and owner of Sandcastles Day Nursery.
“I was particularly impressed by the obvious amount of work and research that had gone into each entry and the enthusiasm of the students, said Invest NI board member Bryan Keating. “By encouraging young people to think about becoming entrepreneurs and equipping them with the necessary skills to do so, we will be able to create a more vibrant and creative economy for the future,” he continued.
The competition final follows the launch of Invest NI’s Entrepreneurship Education initiative, designed to encourage a greater number of young people to pursue an entrepreneurial career path in the future.
The initiative will help over 128,000 young people from all over Northern Ireland to develop the skills and confidence they need to one day become successful entrepreneurs.