About the Awards

Take the first step to business success

Are you a third level student with a business idea that will blow our minds? If you have an idea with real commercial potential then the Student Entrepreneur Awards is the competition for you. It could be the first step on the way to being your own boss.

There’s an incredible first place cash prize of €10,000 to be won plus the opportunity to avail of €30,000 worth of specialist advice and assistance to potentially help turn your enterprise idea into a business reality. So get a team together for the most exciting challenge of your life so far…

Sponsored by Enterprise Ireland, Cruickshank Intellectual Property Attorneys, Grant Thornton and the Local Enterprise Office, the Student Entrepreneur Awards offers third level students from all academic disciplines and courses of study the opportunity to realise their entrepreneurial ambitions.

Who can enter the competition?

The Student Entrepreneur Awards are open to full-time registered third level students on the island of Ireland.


“Events such as the Student Entrepreneur Awards gives young entrepreneurs a viable pathway for realising their world changing ideas and visions. For myself and many more like me, this vehicle has enabled the nurturing of over 26 start-ups, 5 of which have attained the title of a High Potential Start-up (10 new employees and €1,000,000 in export revenue within 3 years) – that is the real potential of young entrepreneurs and the power of the Student Entrepreneur Awards.” Myles Murray, CEO, PMD Solutions, Student Entrepeneur Awards Finalist 2010

5 reasons to enter

1. Cash to fund your start-up business
€35,000 in cash prizes with the overall winner receiving €10,000.

2. Consultancy to develop your business idea
Support, advice and mentoring worth €30,000.

3. Helps you to stand out
In today’s competitive employment and commercial markets, taking part in this prestigious awards demonstrates the skills, commitment and innovation employers and investors seek.

4. Opportunity to become an entrepreneur
Be your own boss with unique support from the Student Entrepreneur Awards.

5. A potential career
Previous winners are now working with world-leading organisations

Entering is easy

The first stage is to produce a 3 minute/180 second video about your business idea, telling us all about your great idea by 5pm Friday 8th March 2019. Keep it short and make it memorable. If your project is shortlisted you’ll need to develop a business plan that shows the judges your business idea is viable, well thought out and well researched. You can find out more about  about how to enter and submitting a link to the video on the How to Enter page

Before you submit your idea

The Enterprise Ireland team will be coming to your college throughout the academic year before the competition closes.  To find out more about your local session go to the contact section.

Dates to Remember

Closing Date for 3 minute video submission – 5pm, Friday 8th March 2019.

Friday 5th April 2019 – Top 50 call backs requested to submit business plans.

Friday 3rd May 2019 – Deadline for Top 50 Business Plans

Friday 17th May 2019 – Top 10 finalists Announced.

6th & 7th June 2019 – Top 10 finalists presentations & closing ceremony @ CIT.