Kildare Junior Entrepreneurs complete their projects

27 Kildare schools

Kildare Junior Entrepreneurs complete their projects

Daniel Hackett, pictured with his Bird Feeder, which was created as part of their Junior Entrepreneur Programme project

A total of 27 schools in Kildare are completing their projects for the Junior Entrepreneur Programme.

The free nationwide programme gives children between the ages of 11 and 12 years of age, a real insight to the business world, by enabling them to convert their commercial ideas into real business opportunities, complete with management teams, sales and especially the thrill of running a successful and profitable business.

The Kildare schools join more than 600 schools throughout the country who have signed up for the programme which was co-founded by founder and entrepreneur CEO Jerry Kennelly.

The 14-week programme is led by Jerry Kennelly and supported by successful entrepreneurs across Ireland, including Sam McAuley, founder, McAuley Chemists, Frank Salmon (CMS Periperals), Peter Cosgrove, (ATA) and John Purdy (Ergo)  among others. 

Over the last 9 years, 67,000 national school pupils have already benefited from the programme.

“All too often entrepreneurship programmes target transition year students at second level, but by then many career decisions and subject choices have already been made.  The ideal time to open young minds to the thrill of business is at primary education level, when they are at their most creative and uninhibited in their approach to business ideas and solutions” said Jerry Kennelly.

The JEP programme is aligned with the primary school curriculum with JEP participants developing skills and confidence in presentation, drawing, technology, research, numeracy as well as problem solving, collaboration and brand awareness.  A classroom and teacher kit is provided to schools free of charge, which includes the JEP Teacher’s Guide, posters, a school flag, pupil workbooks and classroom display.  

“National school is the ideal time to introduce children to the world of entrepreneurship – young children are creative and curious by nature, and these are just two of the skills required to be successful in business.  Through JEP, we want to show kids just how much fun creating, working and succeeding in business can be” he added.

JEP is described as a great opportunity for all school children. There is no cost to the schools and the benefits are enormous. It has been proven that pupils who participate in entrepreneurship programmes demonstrate increased initiative and self-confidence. Fostering a love for business and a culture of entrepreneurship in children will not only provide opportunities in the future, but will also support job creation and economic development in Ireland.

Schools who participate in the programme are invited to exhibit at the JEP All Ireland Showcase event, now in its second year at the RDS in Dublin on May 20, 2019. More than 5,000 children are due to participate.

JEP  is available free for parents, children and schools and features visits by local entrepreneurs to the classroom in each region. Learn more at


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