Foróige NFTE Youth Entrepreneur of the Year Awards 2024

Alan May 9, 2024

'Stick It', a sports stick bag holder from Annamai Condon (16) and Clodagh Desmond (16), from Loreto Secondary School, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary were announced as the overall winner of the Foróige NFTE Youth Entrepreneur of the Year Awards 2024 at a ceremony held at Richmond Barracks, Dublin this week. 'Stick It' won the title after competing against over 7,000 young entrepreneurs from all over Ireland through a series of local, county, regional and semi-finals, with a total of 186 local competitions taking place, leading to 30 regional finals. 

The closely-fought national final saw the top eight young entrepreneurs in the ‘Best Business’ category have the opportunity to pitch their business to an expert panel of judges from some of Ireland's leading companies, as they battled it out to be crowned Foróige NFTE Youth Entrepreneur of the Year 2024. 

There were two other award categories including Best Innovation won by wearable medical device 'Portanos' - Taha Njie (18) and Aidan Oscar (16) from Colaiste Chiarain, Croom, Co. Limerick and Best Social Enterprise, won by book series 'The Little Lost Collection' by Niamh Brett (16), Hazel Maher (16), Danica Tervit Kruger (16) from Presentation Secondary School, Loughboy, Co. Kilkenny. All three winning businesses will now go on to represent Ireland at the European Youth Entrepreneur Awards in Berlin in October this year.  

Each young person participating in the final completed the Foróige Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) Programme, which involves approximately 40 hours of learning and includes the facilitation of a number of interactive sessions that enable young people to come up with a business idea, develop their product/service, design a business plan and trade in the real world.  

Annamai Condon from Stick It commented on the big win saying, “We are absolutely delighted, the other businesses in the category were brilliant, we’re shocked to have won! We want to thank the judges and everyone who supported us along the way. The whole experience has been great and we’re so excited to head to Berlin later this year to represent our county and Ireland at the European Youth Entrepreneur Awards.”

Speaking at the event Odhrán O’Mahony, Chairperson of Foróige, said; “We know from research, and from countless testimonials from teachers, parents, youth workers and most importantly from young people themselves, that the skills, confidence and experience they gain from being involved in NFTE is often life changing. It lights a spark that changes the way young people think about themselves and their own capability that is quite remarkable. It's a spark that, once lit, burns continuously through their lifetime so that they can do more, be more and achieve more."