Monday, 6 June 2016

600 Cork Primary Schoolchildren participate in Junior Entrepreneur Programme

More than 600 pupils from national schools throughout Cork city and county today (Thursday) showcased products and services developed and sold through participation on the Junior Entrepreneur Programme (JEP). The free 10-16 week programme for primary school pupils was co-founded a number of years ago by one of Ireland’s most successful entrepreneurs Jerry Kennelly, and is supported throughout the country by business leaders. With over 10,000 national schoolchildren annually benefitting from JEP, it is the only programme that supports pupils to develop a real business at primary level.

Representing the Cork entrepreneurs that sponsor the JEP Cork Showcase Day, Pat O’Flynn, CEO Solvotrin said, “All too often entrepreneurship programmes target transition year students at second level, but by then many career decisions and subject choices have already been made. The ideal time to open young minds to the thrill of business is at primary education level, when they are at their most creative and uninhibited in their approach to business ideas and solutions.

JEP has been hugely successful throughout Ireland, and judging by the products being showcased here today, the standard of Cork’s junior entrepreneurs is exceptionally high.”

More than 40 different products created by 5th and 6th class schoolchildren were exhibited at the JEP Cork Showcase at Rochestown Park Hotel, and ranged from 1916 Bookmarks, Funky Frames, Beara Key rings, Comfy Cushions, StudyBuddys to Meelin Make n’Bake among others.

“The pupils participating in JEP have not only learned about business on the programme, they have also gained practical experience in marketing, finance, sales and leadership. Their presentation skills, teamwork and confidence have also increased significantly as a result of the Junior Entrepreneur Programme,” said Síle Ní Ríogáin, Gaelscoil Ui Drisceoil, Glanmire.

Aiden Lee of Eolas International is a co-sponsor of the Cork Showcase Day and has worked with the schools during the 10 week programme.

“JEP is a great opportunity for all school children. There is no cost to the schools, and the benefits are enormous. It has been proven that pupils who participate in entrepreneurship programmes demonstrate increased initiative and self-confidence. Fostering a love for business and a culture of entrepreneurship in children will not only provide them with opportunities in the future, but will also support job creation and economic development in Ireland.”

The JEP programme is aligned with the primary school curriculum in Ireland and uses an integrated teaching and project-based approach. JEP participants develop skills and confidence in presentation, drawing, technology, research, numeracy as well as problem solving, collaboration and brand awareness. A full programme kit is provided to schools free of charge, which includes the JEP Teacher’s Guide, Posters and classroom display, as well as a dedicated entrepreneur project manager in each region. Registration is now open for the 2016 – 17 programme. For more information and to register visit