Waterford Local Enterprise Office LEAP into Action in Local Schools

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200 primary students from eight schools across Waterford city and county have taken part in the Local Enterprise Achievement Programme (LEAP), sponsored by Waterford Local Enterprise Office.

At the start of the programme each class was visited by a local business person who delivered the Junior Achievement ‘Our First Business’ programme, empowering students to come up with their very first business idea. All the students’ hard work and preparation came to fruition at the LEAP Event which was held in Waterford Institute of Technology on 7th and 8th June.

LEAP 2Minister John Halligan TD visiting students at their stand to hear their business ideasMinister John Halligan TD, Minister of State for Training, Skills and Innovation, who opened the LEAP Event on the 8th of June said: “Initiatives such as the LEAP Project are essential for fostering entrepreneurial attitudes and skills in the Waterford area, which will help to ensure Ireland continues to be one of the most entrepreneurial countries in the world. We must support young people to acquire the skills and confidence they need so that they can face any challenge and shape their careers in the future world of work. I commend Junior Achievement and Waterford Local Enterprise Office for such a wonderful initiative.

Each day four local schools showcased their business ideas and presented them to local business people known as FROGS (For Recognition of Greatness in Students) who questioned the students on their ideas leap 3In the middle of the action are John Halligan, Minister of State for Training and Skills; Helen Raftery, CEO, JAI; Richie Walsh, Head of Enterprise, Waterford LEO; Tom O’ Toole, Head of the School of Business, WITand offered each group a fictional investment in recognition of the potential of their business idea.

Speaking at the event 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. 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 that Junior Achievement is our partner for this project.