Five young entrepreneurs from Carna in the Conamara Gaeltacht hope to put Conamara in the frame next week, when they represent Ireland at the JA Europe Company of the Year Competition.
‘Frámaí Chonamara’ was established by Dara Ó Cualáin, Stephen Breathnach, Ciara Áine Ní Mhaoilchiaráin, Clíona Ní Dhuinn agus Ciara Máire Ní Chualáin from Scoil Phobail Mhic Dara in Carna, Co. Galway and the young Conamara entrepreneurs will represent Ireland at the JA Europe Company of the Year Competition which takes place in Tallinn, Estonia from the 12th to 15th July. This is the fourth time that the winners of Údarás na Gaeltachta’s Clár na gComhlachtaí entrepreneurship competition will have the opportunity to participate at the European level of the competition.
Frámaí Chonamara is an innovative minicompany, producing attractive picture frames, perfect as gifts, each of which has a brief, personal message in Irish on the back. Since they commenced production, the frames have been in great demand, both in Ireland and overseas. The Conamara entrepreneurs fought off stiff opposition from more than 750 transition year students from Gaeltacht schools in Donegal, Mayo, Galway, Kerry Cork, Waterford and Meath to scoop the national Údarás na Gaeltachta Clár na gComhlachtaí competition in April. The national final gave Frámaí Chonamara valuable experience in competing against other top-quality projects and they managed to outperform them all based on the quality of their innovative business idea and overall performance on the day. The successful company from Scoil Phobail Mhic Dara were mentored by their business studies teacher, Róisín Ní Chonfhaola, who helped them to develop their business idea along with support from Údarás na Gaeltachta and Junior Achievement Ireland executives.
Public Choice Award
Frámaí Chonamara is also eligible for the Public Choice Award, which will be decided through an online public vote here https://expo.gen-e.eu/. The voting opens on the 8/07/22 for the duration of the competition where the public can vote early and often for the Conamara entrepreneurs!
During the course of the European Final, Dara, Stephen, Ciara Áine, Clíona agus Ciara Máire will present their product, company, progress and plans to the judges and to other competing junior entrepreneurs from other EU member states.
Mícheál Ó hÉanaigh, Chief Executive Officer with Údarás na Gaeltachta, commented:
“Údarás na Gaeltachta is proud to be sending a team of the calibre of Frámaí Chonamara to Europe not only to represent Ireland whilst showcasing Irish creativity and imagination but also to represent our unique Gaeltacht areas. It is inspiring to witness such enterprising young people participate at the Údarás na Gaeltachta Clár na gComhlachtaí 2021. Their knowledge and enthusiasm for their business ideas indicates that future entrepreneurship in the Gaeltacht is safe. We wish Dara, Stephen, Ciara Áine, Clíona agus Ciara Máire and everyone at Scoil Phobail Mhic Dara the very best of luck”.
Helen Raftery, CEO of Junior Achievement Ireland added:
“Clár na gComhlachtaí, supported by Údarás na Gaeltachta has enabled 650 students attending schools in all the Gaeltacht regions to develop and practise entrepreneurial skills this year, which will be invaluable as they progress in school and into their careers. I wish to thank Údarás na Gaeltachta as well as leaders in our partner schools and business mentors, for making these learning experiences available to students. Finally, congratulations to our Údarás na Gaeltachta Clár na gComhlachtaí 2022 winners, Frámaí Chonamara, from Scoil Phobail Mhic Dara, Carna, Conamara, Co. na Gaillimhe. The team will represent Ireland at the JA Europe Company of the Year Competition in Tallinn, Estonia next week where they will meet and compete with student entrepreneurs from 40 other countries around Europe. ”