Ear Muff Maker from Tallaght wins Youth Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2013

Foróige-Notinuse's picture
Foróige-Notinuse April 11, 2013

Street smart, go-getting, profit making Amy Keatinge is the winner of the Youth Entrepreneur of the Year Awards 2013, organised and run by Foróige for her business CoZey SoundZ . A total of 1,500 participants from low income communities set up 850 businesses as part of this year’s NFTE entrepreneurship programme, generating a collective turnover of €250,000. The programme runs from September to May every year.

The NFTE programme was founded by US businessman Steve Mariotti in New York in 1987 to prevent at risk young people from low-income communities from ‘dropping out’ of the education system. The programme teaches young people to think like entrepreneurs, to take calculated risks, to be open to learning and be empowered to own their own futures.

Amy won the award for her business ‘CoZey SoundZ’ which manufactures and sells colourful ear muffs with inbuilt ear phones. Her business generated a net profit of €191.00 after deduction of expenses and a 15% donation of net profit to charity. Her target market is primarily women aged between the ages of 7 and 30 or anyone who wears ear muffs and likes listening to music in the winter. GAA fans have shown a keen interest in her product as the product can be customised in the various club or county colours for supporters. Amy markets her business via facebook. Initially her business was a partnership but had to be dissolved due to lack of commitment from her former business partner. However, Amy kept the business going and plans to continue as a sole trader into the future.

Commenting on her win she said “All my hard work has paid off even though I faced some tough challenges and decisions with the business. I’m delighted. I hope to expand my product range to include products suitable to other seasons. My involvement in the progamme has inspired me to try and achieve 475 points in my Leaving Certificate to become a primary school teacher. I’m excited to see what my future holds.”

Maria Doherty, Foróige NFTE Programme Manager said, “Entrepreneurial skills are more important now than ever in the current economic environment. This new generation of entrepreneurs are a real inspiration to the business community in their fearless attitude, drive and enthusiasm to carve out their own futures, while also developing worthwhile products and services that generate employment.”

Research carried out by NFTE in Berlin among 3,600 young people who participated in the NFTE programme found that 70% of all participants have found a job, either as an employee or an entrepreneur. The survey also shows that each NFTE entrepreneur in turn employs an average of 3.5 people.

Second & Third Place Winners 

Second place goes to a group of five young female entrepreneurs [Eavan Mc Donagh, Susan Brannigan, Amber Mooney, Nicole O’Boyle, Katie Harrigan] from Mercy College, Sligo for their business “adaptable books “ – a series of four children’s books dealing with issues of bereavement, separation, cyber bullying & the death of a pet.


Third place goes to Alex Fitzpatrick from Blanchardstown Youth Service for his business “Love at First Bite”, a specialist cupcake business.

Judging Panel

The overall winner was chosen by an expert judging panel including Bobby Kerr, CEO, Insomnia; Linda Keating, Director, Marie Keating Foundation, Hugo Mac Neill, MD Goldman Sachs; Sophie Morris, MD Kooky Dough and John Crimmins Prospectus Consultants. Seven finalists made an elevator pitch to the judges ala Dragon’s Den style for the top prize.

Issued by: -

Maria Whitmore

Gordon MRM

Ph: 087 2377105

Maria Whitmore

Client Director



51/52 Fitzwilliam Square West

Dublin 2

Direct Line: 01 6650451

Mobile: 087 2377105

email: [email protected]<mailto:[email protected]>