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National Finalist Teenpreneur Profiles

Cake Bites, Clondalkin, Dublin 22

Sherry Suhrab and Tara McHale, both 16 year old Transition Year students at Cólaiste Bride in Clondalkin, set up their baking business as part of the NFTE programme in October 2013. Both have a huge interest in baking and had attended cake decorating classes. From their research, the students found that their product was not that readily available to the Irish market giving them quite a niche. Their products retail at €1 make them attractive to a wide market. Sherry and Tara are now targeting the wedding market and are busy fulfilling orders for birthdays and special occasions in the coming months.

Hidden Treasure, Coolock, Dublin 5

Christopher Tuite (20) and Susan Sheehy (19) who are both in their final year at Kilmore Youthreach, Coolock, made it through to the NFTE Finals with their wooden handcraft business. Hidden Treasures are customised wooden treasure chests to hold keepsakes and are proving very popular for baby and christening gifts. Christopher and Susan realised that their competitors were charging a premium price for similar products so set about entering the market at a reduced price in a bid to attract new customers. Products start at €15 and can be customised to suit client needs.

The Candle Co., Coolock, Dublin 5

Adam Doherty (16), Reece Higgins (15), and Ryan O’Keeffe (16) are all Transition Year students at Chanel College in Coolock. Their business is based around the central theme of candle displays reflecting the different seasons. These young entrepreneurs aim to give each product a unique touch and hand craft their packages to suit customers’ needs. The Candle Co. produce a wide range of products under the €20 mark to ensure affordability. Each display contains a wooden item that is re-usable.

Brace Yourself, Sligo

Rianne Keaveney (16), Róisín Shaw (15), Sinead Fitzsimons (15), Sinead D’Arcy (16), Samantha Scanlon (16) are all Transition Year students at Mercy College, Sligo. Their business is a hook to help people close their bracelets, amongst other functions such as zipping up the back of a dress and opening cans. They got the idea when Rianne watched her grandmother struggle with a bracelet and the idea of a hook came to mind. Brace Yourself charge €2 per hook and they have been busy selling it on numerous occasions in the local shopping centre in Sligo. They say their design is unique, there is nothing like it on the market and also the only such product made and sold in Ireland.

Mini Magik, Mayo

Chloe Hilson (14) and Kirsten O’Neill (14) set up their business Mini Magik through participating in the NFTE programme in their local Foróige club in Ballyhaunis, Co. Mayo. Their business offers miniature quality charms at a good price. They sell large charms at €3 and small for €2. The girls have been busy selling their charms at local discos and local Foróige events. Their mission is to make the cutest charms around!

ReLive, Donegal

Conor Mallon (16) and Niall O’Shaughnessy (15) started their business ReLive through the NFTE programme in ‘The CORE’ Foróige Youth Diversion Project in Falcarragh, Co. Donegal. ReLive offers a video to DVD conversion service at the most competitive market rate on the Irish market. They realised the potential for such a service in County Donegal and indeed all over Ireland. They charge €9.99 for one DVD and cover. ReLive’s business mission is to rid the world of the last of prehistoric VCR tapes, while also bringing happiness to countless families by restoring precious memories.

Moodies, Limerick

Aoife Barrett and Ellie McCann are 1st year students and attend the Loobagh Area Youth Project. They both have fun with sports and art. Aoife and Ellie researched their product and realised there was a niche in the market for such a product. They have priced their product at €10 making it both affordable and an attractive alternative to other products in a similar and higher price bracket. Aoife and Ellie are looking into expanding their target market by making the product available for shipping/post as they realised that they can only sell so many in their locality.

Celtic Slate Crafts, Cork

Ava Murphy and Chloe Yelverton are Leaving Certificate students from Ballincollig who attend the Foróige project in their area. Both Ava and Chloe are very creative and have good communication skills. They started their NFTE project almost a year ago making a range of handcrafted slate household giftware items including mirrors, candle holders, placemats and coasters. Their products range in price and appeal to people of all ages. Ava and Chloe plan for the future is building the business and joining the NFTE alumni but this will all happen after they finish their Leaving Cert exams.