More than 3,500 Primary School Pupils Participate in Ireland’s first Junior Entrepreneur Showcase

  • 3,500 primary school children showcase their businesses from board games, food products, books, fridge magnets, air fresheners and educational tools to medi-kits and more;
  • Run by 10 to 12-year-olds, the primary school businesses created turned over more than €220,000 with a profit of €140,000;
  • Ireland’s leading entrepreneurs including Bobby Kerr, John Brennan, Alison Cowzer, Brian Lee, Peaches Kemp, Niall McGarry and Paul Galvin among others were on hand to support #JEPKidsinBiz at the RDS;
  • Co-founded by Jerry Kennelly, the Junior Entrepreneur Programme (JEP) over 12,000 students aged between 10 and 12 years old took part this year from every county in Ireland and Northern Ireland, culminating in the JEP Showcase at the RDS today.
  • Awards presented to 9 outstanding businesses run by 10, 11 & 12-year-olds.

Dublin, 18 June 2018: More than 3,500 entrepreneurs aged between 10 and 12 years old showcased their products and businesses at Ireland’s first Junior Entrepreneur Programme (JEP) Showcase today (Monday) at the RDS Dublin.  Having turned over €220,000 collectively, these successful 5th and 6th class entrepreneurs generated over €140,000 in less than a year!

Every county in Ireland and Northern Ireland was represented at the JEP Showcase, where primary school children demonstrate their creativity, innovation and business acumen giving celebrity judges and some of Ireland’s leading business people a hard time in selecting the best products, teams and business strategies.

Founded by Jerry Kennelly, the Junior Entrepreneur Programme (JEP) is a nationwide, free programme to promote entrepreneurship from a young age. Aligned with the primary school curriculum, the programme enables primary school children to explore the world of business, convert their ideas into commercial opportunities and discover the thrill of business, while also building confidence, developing skills in problem-solving, presentation and teamwork.

“It’s inspiring to see 10, 11 and 12-year-old children turn ideas into businesses and create products that people are willing to pay for. In an adult world, these children are given free rein to discover their own hidden talents and creativity. They discover what they’re good at and experience the joy of a shared goal with their class.

Teachers and pupils talk about the revelation of previously unknown skills among the class – and are all buzzed by the confidence of achieving real-world business success in the classroom. JEP gives children a chance to stand on their own two feet and to show the world what they can do at an early age.”

While all JEP participants are winners, a number of awards were presented at the conclusion of the showcase. The accolade of Class of the Year went to the students of Gaelscoil An Inbhir Mhóir for their bilingual board game “Marching the Map”, while “The Positivity Box” from Scoil Baile Uí Ghiblin in Cork was named Star Submission.

Croke Park officials will need to keep their eye on the pupils from Scoil Náisiunta Baile Nora in Cork who were named Financial Wizards for their project “For the Love of GAA”, and farmers health was to the fore for the Top Team winners Scoil Náisiúnta Seosamh Naofa in Galway for their “Tractor Back Support”.

“Sums Up”, an educational card game created by the pupils of Killeshandra National School in Co Cavan, won Genius Product, while Bunscoil McAuley Rice from Co Kilkenny were named Marketing Gurus for their “Power Porridge”.

The pupils of Lehinch National School in Co Mayo were identified as Change Agents for their “Internet Safety Game”, while the Community Champions of Scoil Bhríde in Killarney were also thinking of safety and addressing a problem in their community with a “Tick Kit”.

“Perfect Presents” a series of bespoke gifts with personalized messages earned the title of Creative Pioneers for Gearard National School from Co Wicklow.

Speaking at the JEP Showcase Awards presentation, Jerry Kennelly said, “Only a small percentage of the children who complete JEP will go on to start their own business in the future, but now they will now understand the challenges faced by the cornerstone of our economy – the entrepreneurs who drive it. Our vision for JEP is that it allows the children to understand that they can think independently and create something real from nothing but an idea.

JEP participants understand that money doesn’t grow on trees and that goods and services don’t come from shops. They understand that it takes passion, drive and commitment to create a product or service that people will pay for. They get what is probably their first taste of the real world”.

The Junior Entrepreneur Programme is enrolling now for the new school year starting in September 2018. See

For media information, please contact Renate Murphy, CAMEO Communications [email protected]


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