Baking student rises above competitors

The resurrection of a 100-year-old monks’ yeast bread recipe helped a 17-year-old student rise above his competitors to become senior winner at a student enterprise competition.

Manus Heenan’s Abbey Bread is a wholemeal yeast bread mix inspired by the breads made at Mount St Joseph Abbey from 1896 up to 2010.

He is a transition year student at the abbey’s Cistercian College in Roscrea and was supported by Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Offaly to reach the Student Enterprise Programme National Finals.

Although based on the original recipe, the student from Terryglass, Co Tipperary, says his mix has a unique taste and flavour to rival it. For €10, his customers can get two packs of bread mix, or a bread mix and fresh loaf.

A group of five first-year Kerry students won top prize in the junior category for their venture centred on an all-in-one training hurley, Complete Camán. It comes with an all-weather sliotar tethered to the hurley, and colour-coded sections.

The successful camogie and hurling enthusiasts from Presentation Secondary School in Castleisland are Chantelle Broderick, Fiona Brosnan, Katie Cotter, Tara Enright and Joanna Moynihan.

With the key areas inscribed on the camán, users of any skill level can train on their own. The budding entrepreneurs are patenting the product and have also created a short instructional video to help customers use it.

The intermediate category, open to second-year and third-year students, was won by a Kilkenny school firm whose innovation could make farm work faster and safer.

Lift Arm Assist is a hydraulic arm to replace the lift arm stabiliser on the back of a tractor.

The enterprise is run by CBS Kilkenny students Edward Daly, John O’Brien and Matthew O’Sullivan.

Almost 80 student enterprises run by 230 teenagers competed at the Student Enterprise Programme National Finals, after being selected from among the 23,600 participants at 480 second-level schools.

Supported by county-level local enterprise offices, more than 150,000 students have learned how to run a business through the programme over the last 16 years.

At yesterday’s national finals in Croke Park, Trade, Employment and Business Minister Pat Breen said this and similar initiatives are key to developing the country’s future enterprising culture.


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