Search begins for Ireland’s best student entrepreneurs for 2023

Applications are now open for Enterprise Ireland’s 42nd Student Entrepreneur Awards competition.

Enterprise Ireland is inviting students from third-level institutions across the country who have an innovative business idea with real commercial potential to apply to this year’s Student Entrepreneur Awards competition. 

This year celebrates the 42nd year of the Student Entrepreneur Awards, which aim to encourage students with entrepreneurial ambitions from all academic disciplines to explore starting their own business as a career option.

“Every year, we receive over 1,000 entries from third-level students from across the country”

The Student Entrepreneur Awards are co-sponsored by Cruickshank, Grant Thornton and the Local Enterprise Offices, and ten finalists will be selected to compete for several awards, such as the Cruickshank High Achieving Merit Award, the Grant Thornton High Achieving Merit Award and the Local Enterprise Office High Achieving Merit award. 

The overall winner of the Student Entrepreneur Awards competition will receive a prize of €10,000 and mentoring from Enterprise Ireland to support them to develop the commercial viability of their concept. Other award winners will also receive expert advice and mentoring support from Enterprise Ireland, as well as sponsorship to help them turn their entrepreneurial ideas into reality.

The closing date for Student Entrepreneur Award entries is Thursday, 16 March 2023. The award winners will be announced at a ceremony on Friday, 9 June 2023. Entries to the Student Entrepreneur Awards 2023 can be made here

Showcasing innovative ideas

“Since its inception over four decades ago, the Student Entrepreneur Awards have provided young, ambitious entrepreneurs with the opportunity to showcase their innovative business ideas,” said Richard Murphy, manager of Local Enterprise Offices Support at the Policy and Co-ordination Unit at Enterprise Ireland.

“Every year, we receive over 1,000 entries from third-level students from across the country. We continue to be inspired by the high-calibre entries which are a testament to the emphasis that our higher-level institutes place on entrepreneurship. The awards are a stepping-stone to success for Ireland’s future business leaders and many past participants have excelled in entrepreneurship on both national and international levels. I’d encourage all third-level students to enter the awards now and start out on the journey to realising your entrepreneurial ambitions

 University College Cork student Annie Madden, co-founder of FenuHealth, won Enterprise Ireland’s 2022 Student Entrepreneur of the Year Award.  Her company develops 100% natural products designed to prevent and resolve stomach problems in horses and ponies. 

 Other 2022 award winners included SETU student Alannah Pardy of Recapture One, a cloud-based multimedia company specialising in the development of personalised bereavement memorials, and from St. Angela’s College, Sligo; vitamin C and collagen snack company Rollagen, established by Claire Finnegan. 

Main image at top: Annie Madden, co-founder, Fenuhealth

John Kennedy
Award-winning editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.