16 October 2019
By Mary Bermingham
Cork secondary students were invited to bring their new innovative business ideas to the boardroom this week when seven schools attended an entrepreneurial mentoring day at the new offices of Otterbox on South Mall.
Thirty students in total participated in the development and mentoring day, organised by the Local Enterprise Office and Cork city’s Schools Enterprise Programme. The students were invited to bring three business ideas to mentors at Otterbox, an international company with European, Middle East & Asia (EMEA) headquarters in Cork, and over the course of the day, ultimately arriving with one workable business blueprint.
During a busy day of brainstorming, mentoring and planning, the students from Colaiste an Phiarsaigh, Nagle College, Presentation Boys School, Glanmire Community College, Scoil Mhuire, St Aloysius School and Colaiste an Spioraid Naoimh were advised in areas of business by OtterBox staff such as Sales and Marketing, supply chain, teamwork and finance. The students also received a motivational talk from Barrie Collins Managing Director at OtterProducts EMEA.
Paul McGuirk, Head of Enterprise, Local Enterprise Office Cork City, said: “The Student Enterprise Programme is a fantastic initiative to promote entrepreneurship as a viable option to young people today. We are delighted to be part of this national programme which is offered through the Local Enterprise Offices nationally.
“Each year we work with the teachers and students to improve our own programme,” he continued. “As part of that, we have the opportunity to work together with local businesses who have a genuine interest in promoting entrepreneurship. One such business is OtterBox and we would like to say thanks to Claire Lyons and Barrie Collins, who hosted and facilitated the MD day at their offices on South Mall.”
The OtterBox mentoring day should ensure the students are in good stead for a Christmas Trade Fair which will take place at Blackpool Shopping Centre on December 5. This event gives students an incredible opportunity to make sales, generate leads and earn some real cash as the busy Christmas period kicks off. Students are required to create their display stands, prepare their marketing materials and convince shoppers of the merits of their product/service in an effort to build on their all-important sales figures.
Claire Lyons, General Counsel at OtterBox, complimented the Cork students on their budding business acumen: “This is our third year involved with the Local Enterprise Office and Schools Enterprise Programme and once again the staff here at OtterBox have been delighted to work with the students on any number of potentially good business ideas. It is in keeping with our mandate to focus on young people and by coming to our offices here, we hope they get an opportunity to see a little of what is at the end of the journey for a successful business idea.”
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