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Student Entrepreneur Awards

Turn your smart idea into a great business


Applications are now closed.

Friday 5th April 2024 – Top 50 call backs requested to submit business plans


Student Entrepreneur Awards 2023 Highlights

Take the first step to business succcess

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


Reasons to Compete

Opportunity to become an entrepreneur

Students can create the businesses they want to work in with unique support from the Student Entrepreneur Awards.

Helps students stand out

Taking part in this prestigious award demonstrates the commitment to innovation employers and investors seek.

Cash to fund your start-up business

€35,000 in cash prizes with the overall winner receiving €10,000.

Expert advice and mentoring

Support, advice and mentoring.


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Overall Winner

€10,000 Cash





Cruickshank High Achieving Merit Award

€5,000 Cash


Grant Thornton High Achieving Merit Award

€5,000 Cash


Local Enterprise Office High Achieving Merit Award

€5,000 Cash


Enterprise Ireland Merit Awards Fund (€10,000)

6 runner-up awards of €1,500
1 academic award of €1,000

Who can participate

The Student Entrepreneur Awards are open to full-time registered third level undergraduate and postgraduate students on the island of Ireland. Entries can be from individuals or teams. Joint entries from different colleges are eligible but if the entry gets to the final stage one college must take the lead.

Read more on Page 4 of the brochure


Get Started

How to Enter

Discover the Path: Access the complete guide on entering and succeeding – Explore our Brochure here. 

Stage 1

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.

Stage 2

The top 50 entries are shortlisted and asked to submit a business plan.

Stage 3

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.


Please check out the competition timeline below

January - March

Call for video applications

March - April

Competition closes and entries evaluated


Top 50 submit a business plan


Top 10 finalists announced


Awards and winners announced 

3 people sitting and working on a project
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