“Just Hanging Key Chains” from the Inner City Community Youth Projects was awarded the ‘Padraig O Griofa Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ Award from Waterford City Enterprise Board.
Now in its second year, Waterford Youth Bank and Waterford City Enterprise Board collaborated to establish a unique relationship aimed at encouraging young entrepreneurs. YOUTHBANK Enterprise Grants provide community groups with the necessary training to develop an enterprising idea, the skills to sell it and funds to run it. Waterford City Enterprise Board grants were available to all youth groups within Waterford city with successful applications, the evaluation of these applications was undertaken by their peers.
The programme included weekly workshops delivered by local business people giving practical training on subjects such as promoting your idea, finding your market and getting through the Youth Bank interview process.
Successful applicants were then paired with a business mentor who met with the groups offering support and advice. The groups with products were offered the opportunity of a pop-up shop to sell their goods in last year’s Waterford city Winterval Festival.
Padraig O Griofa was a well regarded businessman in Waterford and chaired the Waterford City Enterprise Board’s evaluation committee since its inception. He passed in March of 2012 and, wishing to remember his contribution to the business community and Waterford City Enterprise Board in particular, the Board established the ‘Padraig O Griofa Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ Award. This award was judged from the various Youth Bank groups, and on the criteria of enterprise skills, planning, administration and enthusiasm.
A number of groups stood out, but the ‘Just Hanging Key Chains’ group were named as overall winners. Darren Kenneally and Michelle Brophy received the perpetual Padraig O’Griofa trophy designed by Sean Egan Art Glass and cinema vouchers compliments of Odeon cinema Waterford.
Ciaran Cullen CEO (Acting) Waterford City Enterprise Board said, “The effort and work that both Youth Bank and these community groups put into their enterprise projects is inspiring. It was a pleasure to be in a position to invest in a project where the stakeholders are investing so much themselves.”
The awards took place on February 5th at the Tower Hotel where in excess of 70 attended, including Mayor of Waterford Cllr. John Cummins who spoke about the necessity to encourage entrepreneurship. Mayor Cummins added, “All participants learned a great deal about entrepreneurship, showing a great willingness to plan and turn their concept into a reality. I want to commend all who took part and pay tribute to all the stakeholders, particularly Waterford City Enterprise board, who was lucky enough to have Padraig O’Griofa on their team for so long. These awards are a fitting way to remember such a well regarded businessman.”
For further details on Youth Bank’s activities you can find them on www.youthbank.org . Waterford City Enterprise Board offers support services for start-up and existing SME’s in Waterford city. If you have a new business idea or are running a business that requires assistance you can contact the Enterprise Board by phoning Celia on 051-852883 or check out what they have to offer first on www.waterfordceb.com.