Ms Larkin’s Fifth class pupils (school year 2014/2015) took part in the Junior Entrepreneur Programme.
“The Junior Entrepreneur Programme (JEP) is an entrepreneurial awareness and skills enhancement programme for Primary School children. The programme aims to help children recognise enterprise and entrepreneurship and to foster an awareness and understanding of the entrepreneur’s role in the community, therefore empowering the child to start to think and act with the initiative, creativity and independence that are invaluable in the modern world. The programme is embedded in the principles of the Primary School Curriculum and utilises an integrated teaching and project-based approach to teach many strands of the Primary Curriculum.” (http://www.juniorentrepreneur.ie)
The class was divided into groups and each group came up with an innovative business idea. Then each group presented their project to a team of ‘Dragons’ who put them through their paces and after some deliberation chose the project which they felt had the most potential as a business proposition.
The winning project was an innovative and original mobile phone accessory called Homez4fonz. The product was launched during Limerick Learning Festival in March by Mayor Michael Sheehan and Mary Fitzgerald of Woodlands Hotel Adare at stalls run by the children in the school gym. Requirement exceeded supply on its first outing and production had to be increased to meet the volume of requests for Homez4fonz. Further sales had to be transacted in June in order to meet market demand.
The programme was a very positive initiative for the children involved, helping to build confidence, self-awareness and self-esteem, and an appreciation of each of their individual skills and talents. This innovative programme has opened the minds of the pupils to the joy of entrepreneurship at a time when they are full of imagination and open to new possibilities. The programme has helped our pupils to develop a number of skills including literacy, writing, presentation, drawing, technology, research skills, numeracy, financial, consumer awareness, storytelling, listening skills, creative thinking, problem solving, team building and collaboration skills.