Handy Hurleys from Ard Scoil na Mara in Tramore has won the Senior category of the Waterford Student Enterprise Programme and qualified for the National Student Enterprise Competition. Charlotte Balfe is the founder of Handy Hurleys, a convenient and cost-effective way to store hurleys in the home or club. The Tramore student was announced as the winner at the Local Enterprise Office’s Student Enterprise Programme Virtual Awards earlier this month.
 
Charlotte describes the business, “The idea was to make hurley stands that would be convenient and easy to use whilst not being bulky and in the way. I came up with the idea because I have played camogie my whole life and so have the rest of my family, therefore there are so many hurleys in my house. I tried to find a hurley stand that could hold all our hurleys without being bulky. I just couldn't find one, so I decided to make my own. That’s how Handy Hurleys was born.”
 
The students all took part in the Waterford Final on Thursday March 10th which was held virtually and streamed live on the Local Enterprise Office’s Facebook page. An estimated nine hundred students from eleven schools through-out the county took part in the annual programme this academic year.
 
The enterprise education initiative, funded by the Government of Ireland through Enterprise Ireland and delivered by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices in local authorities throughout the country, saw over 29,000 students from just under 500 secondary schools across the country take part in 2019 / 2020.  The programme supports students to create, design and market their own business, all with the hope of reaching the National Final.
 
Special guests at the County Final, hosted by FM104’s Trishauna Archer included his worship the Mayor Cllr Joe Kelly, Head of enterprise for Waterford Local Enterprise Office Richie Walsh, and special guest, Waterford native and Olympian Jessie Barr.
 
Speaking at the county final, Richie Walsh of Local Enterprise Office Waterford congratulated the students, “We have a very successful student enterprise programme here in Waterford, with over 750 students from 11 local schools taking part this year. We were delighted to receive more entries this year than any previous year of the programme.
“Our national finalists are excellent ambassadors for the programme, and we wish them the very best of luck in the finals and we’ll all be logged on to support them.  In what has been another challenging year for students the programme has offered them an outlet outside of the usual school demands.  What our students are learning from the programme is that with the right supports and encouragement, they can take an idea from the classroom and develop it into a real-life business. The skills they learn along the way, such as business planning, market research, selling and team-work, will help them become more entrepreneurial throughout their future careers.”
 
The Tramore student will be competing against other student entrepreneurs from all over Ireland in the Student Enterprise Programme National Final, which culminates in a live event taking place on May 18th, 2022. Further information about May’s National Finals is available through www.studententerprise.ie, which also has free resources and video tutorials for students and teachers for the programme.
 
For more information, please contact your Local Enterprise Office at 35 the Mall in Waterford City or Civic Offices in Dungarvan. Alternatively, you can email info@leo.waterfordcouncil.ie