Student Entrepreneur Awards In Ireland | Apply Now!

The Student Entrepreneur Awards in Ireland reflect the country’s dedication to nurturing innovation and encouraging the entrepreneurial spirit in its students.

Ireland: Student Entrepreneur Awards
Ireland: Student Entrepreneur Awards

This annual competition creates a space for aspiring student entrepreneurs to present their creative ventures, providing a unique blend of opportunities and recognition.

Receive valuable mentoring for your business ideas

including overall advice and guidance from Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Office. Cruickshank provides intellectual property consultancy and protection, while Grant Thornton assists in developing your business plan.


Prospective participants need to stay attentive to the submission deadline for the Student Entrepreneur Awards(15 March 2024).

Funding amount

  • €5,000 Cruickshank High Achieving Merit Award
  • €5,000 Grant Thornton High Achieving Merit Award
  • €5,000 Local Enterprise High Achieving Merit Award
  • €10,000 Enterprise Ireland Merit Awards Fund
  • 6 runner-up awards of €1,500 1 academic award of €1,000


Participating in the Ireland Student Entrepreneur Awards offers students a diverse range of benefits, providing a unique chance to grow and succeed in their entrepreneurial pursuits:

  • Financial Support:

Successful awardees may receive crucial financial backing, providing resources to develop and implement their innovative business concepts.

  • Mentorship Opportunities:

The awards open doors to mentorship from experienced entrepreneurs and industry experts, offering valuable guidance to navigate challenges and refine business strategies.

  • Access to Industry Networks:

Participants gain entry to extensive industry networks, creating opportunities for collaborations, partnerships, and potential investors.

  • Exposure:

Winning the awards significantly exposes the student’s venture within the academic community and the broader entrepreneurial ecosystem. This visibility can attract attention from potential customers, collaborators, and investors.

  • Credibility and Validation:

Recognition from the Student Entrepreneur Awards enhances the credibility of the student’s venture, validating their efforts and achievements within the competitive entrepreneurial landscape.

  • Experience and Skill Development:

Participation in the awards equips students with practical experience, honing their skills in areas such as business planning, presentation, and project execution.

  • Contribution to Professional Development:

The awards provide a platform for students to enhance their professional development by showcasing their innovative solutions, thereby bolstering their resumes and future career prospects.

  • Community Impact:

Successful projects may positively impact local communities, contributing to societal and economic development.

  • Learning Opportunities:

Engaging in the awards process allows students to learn from the experiences of fellow entrepreneurs, fostering a collaborative environment for knowledge-sharing.

  • Global Recognition:

Depending on the scale and impact of the winning projects, students may receive recognition not only at a national level but potentially on a global stage, opening doors to international opportunities.

How Enterprise Ireland Supports the Student Entrepreneur Awards

  • Online Presentation: Conduct an online presentation for your college, highlighting the competition’s benefits.
  • Promotional Materials: Supply posters, flyers, and social media assets for promotion.
  • Financial Support: Offer €500 to aid college-organized presentations or mini-competitions, preparing students for the Student Entrepreneur Award.


The Student Entrepreneur Awards welcome full-time registered undergraduate and postgraduate students in Ireland. Entries can be from individuals or teams, including joint entries from different colleges. However, if an entry reaches the final stage, one college must take the lead.

Eligibility Criteria

Eligibility Criteria for Ireland: Student Entrepreneur Awards:

  • To qualify, applicants must be enrolled as either full-time or part-time students in a recognized Irish higher education institution during the academic year of application.
  • Submissions are required to illustrate the development of a viable and innovative business concept, highlighting creativity and entrepreneurial potential.
  • The applicant’s academic institution must have official recognition within Ireland.
  • Eligibility is contingent upon full compliance with the guidelines outlined in the official documentation. Any deviation may impact the application’s status.
  • The idea must have commercial viability and export potential.
  • Students must own, control and manage their business Intellectual Property where applicable.
  • Not for profit and social entrepreneurship applicants must operate in a commercial domain.


Ineligibility Criteria for Ireland: Student Entrepreneur Awards:

  • Non-Student Status:

Individuals who are not enrolled as full-time or part-time students during the relevant academic year are ineligible to apply.

  • Projects Misaligned with Objectives:

Ventures that do not align with the objectives of the Student Entrepreneur Awards or fail to address the competition’s focus may be considered ineligible.

  • Lack of Clear Implementation Plan:

Projects lacking a clear and feasible implementation plan may be deemed ineligible. Applications should present a roadmap for executing proposed business concepts.

  • Failure to Meet Specific Requirements:

Non-compliance with specific eligibility requirements outlined in the competition’s guidelines could render an application ineligible. Careful review and adherence to all criteria are crucial.

  • Incomplete Submissions:

Applications lacking necessary information or documentation may be disqualified. Applicants are encouraged to thoroughly complete all required sections of the application form and submit all requested materials.

  • Projects without Demonstrated Innovation:

Ventures that do not showcase innovative elements or fail to stand out in terms of creativity may be considered ineligible.

  • Non-Compliance with Additional Criteria:

Strict adherence to any additional criteria specified in the official guidelines is necessary. Failure to comply with these additional criteria may impact the application’s eligibility.

How to Apply

How to Apply for Ireland: Student Entrepreneur Awards:

  • Visit the Official Website:

Start by going to the official website of the Ireland Student Entrepreneur Awards. Detailed information, guidelines, and the application portal can be found at

  • Review Eligibility Criteria:

Familiarize yourself with the eligibility criteria outlined on the website. Make sure you meet all the requirements before moving forward with the application.

  • Access the Application Portal:

Find the application portal on the website. This is where you will start the application process.

  • Make a video: Students create a two minute video that showcases their great ideas, highlighting commercial and export potential. The videos are submitted via an online entry form.
  • Selection: The top 50 entries are shortlisted and asked to submit a business plan.
  • Evaluation: Ten projects go forward to the final where they present their ideas to the judging panel. This session concludes with the Student Entrepreneur Awards ceremony.

What the judges are looking for

  • Is there a market for the product or service / has it got commercial potential?
  • What is the unique selling point?
  • Has the team developed a proof of concept for their product or service?
  • Have the students tested their product or service with real users in their target market?
  • Does the team have an understanding of key financials?

Documentation Requirements

A successful application necessitates comprehensive documentation, including:

  • Business Plan:

A detailed business plan outlining the venture’s objectives, market analysis, and financial projections.

  • Proof of Enrollment:

Documentation confirming the applicant’s full-time or part-time student status during the relevant academic year.

  • Innovation Showcase:

Visual or tangible representations of the innovative aspects of the project.

  • Implementation Strategy:

A clear and feasible plan for executing the proposed business concept.

  • Any Additional Requirements:

Supplementary materials specified in the official guidelines.

Tips for Successful Application

To increase the chances of a successful application, consider the following tips:

  • Clarity and Conciseness:

Clearly articulate the business concept, objectives, and expected impact.

  • Innovation Showcase:

Highlight the unique and innovative aspects of the project through engaging visual or tangible representations.

  • Thorough Planning:

Develop a detailed and feasible implementation strategy, emphasizing the venture’s potential for success.

  • Professionalism:

Present all documentation in a polished and professional manner, adhering to any specified formats or guidelines.


The Student Entrepreneur Awards in Ireland act as a guiding light for student innovators, providing not only a chance for recognition but also a platform to turn visionary ideas into tangible ventures. With a carefully crafted application, students can seize this opportunity to showcase their entrepreneurial prowess, contributing to Ireland’s dynamic landscape of innovation and ambition.

Frequently asked questions

What are the main evaluation criteria for submitted business ideas?

Judging focuses on innovation, feasibility, market potential, and the overall viability of the proposed business.

Can previous winners enter again in subsequent years?

Generally, prior winners are ineligible for subsequent competitions, but it’s advisable to review specific guidelines as rules may vary.



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