Business is booming in Dublin 8 as schools battle it out

by Rachel Darcy

Six primary schools battled it out in the Solas Business Community Final last Friday to see who had the best business idea.

The initiative came from Dublin 8 based charity, Solas Project, who saw a qualifying team from each of the six schools come together at St Catherine’s Church on Thomas Street to pitch a business idea to a panel of judges to win first or second prize.

The schools that took part included Scoil Treasa Naofa, Sancta Maria Primary School, Stanhope Street, St Audoen’s NS, St Brigid’s Primary School and the Marist Primary School.  The business team from The Marist Primary school were awarded First Prize for their Tech Band idea.

Students from St Audeon’s school presenting their idea, which came 2nd place.

Solas Project’s ‘Solas Business’ is a development programme that aims to teach children life skills while encouraging creativity and entrepreneurship. These goals are achieved through corporate mentoring and exposure to a business environment.

With insider knowledge from their expert business mentors – volunteers from some of Ireland’s biggest companies: Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Byrne Wallace, Ernest & Young, Savills, Smartbox and Quantcast – the pupils have worked on the creation and development of an innovative business product or service over the last 5 weeks.

Pictured (left to right) Stephen Coyne (DDC), Alice Dawson-Lyons (Oxfam Ireland), Eddie D’Arcy (Solas Project CEO), Becky Ryan (Solas Project Youth Cultivator), Emily Cassidy (BlackRock Financial Services), Aiden Blake (Google) and Máirín Ó Cuireáin (Executive Director, Robert Emmet Community Development Project).

At the Community Final, students, joined by their mentors, presented their idea to a panel of five judges, including Emily Cassidy for BlackRock Financial Services, Aiden Blake from Google, Stephen Coyne from the Liberties Business Area Improvement Initiative by the DCC, Máirín Ó’Cuireáin from the Robert Emmet Community Development Project and Alice Dawson-Lyons from Oxfam, and Solas Project board member.

Ideas ranged from bike locks with built in cameras which connect to an app on your phone, to wardrobes which choose suitable clothes for you according to the weather.

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