Thursday, December 05 16:09:21
A Dublin teenager has just been named a European Youth Entrepreneur of the Year 2013 during a ceremony in Brussels earlier today.
Amy Keatinge from Tallaght in Dublin travelled to Belgium to represent Ireland in the prestigious competition, which saw young entrepreneurs from across Europe outline their business plans to a panel of judges from some of the country's leading companies. She was announced as a Gold First winner in the competition in the past hour.
Sixteen business plans were shortlisted from seven countries including Ireland, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Austria and Belgium and Bulgaria.
The competition is hosted by the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship in Belgium, which is run in Ireland by Foroige - Ireland's leading youth organisation. In April, Amy Keatinge was named the Youth Entrepreneur of the Year 2013.
Amy won the Gold First award for her business 'CoZey SoundZ' which manufactures and sells customised ear muffs and cushions with inbuilt ear phones.
Reacting to her award, 18-year-old Amy said: "It's absolutely amazing - all my hard work has paid off! Since last April when I won the Irish Youth Entrepreneur of the Year award, my business has gone from strength to strength. Due to increased demand, I now deliver my products nationally and I'm now looking into expanding Europe-wide.
"It's been so incredible to represent my county here in Belgium. The other business ideas were great and very practical so it makes the award even more special to me. What's even better is that I now know that I can set up and run a business as I've already done it - it really has been a fantastic experience."
The NFTE programme was founded by US businessman Steve Mariotti in New York in 1987 to prevent at risk young people from low-income communities from 'dropping out' of the education system. The programme teaches young people to think like entrepreneurs, to take calculated risks, to be open to learning and be empowered to own their own futures.