SERC student wins national business award

One South Eastern Regional College student won a ‘Future Student of Business Award’ while two others were finalists.

Children of Beechlawn School in London

Ciara Connelly won the inaugural FSB Connect award while Chloe McCauley and Nicole Allen were finalists.

Their business ideas ranged from online mobile repairs to specialist skin products and a device to track your pets and they each received a £350 cheque.

Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry MLA presented the ‘Future Student of Business Awards’ to students from across each of the six Further Education Colleges in Northern Ireland.

Left to right: Eddie Forster, SERC; Ciara Connolly, Winner of FSB Connect Award; David Cunningham, FSB Belfast South Branch; Nicole Allen, SERC finalist; Gerry Campbell, Colleges NI; Chloe McCauley, SERC finalist; and Basil McCrea MLA

Speaking at the ceremony Minister Farry said: “These awards are an excellent opportunity for further education students to gain recognition for their business skills and their future potential for business success.

“Entrepreneurship is of vital importance to the economy and it is only right that it is recognised and rewarded.

“Our local Colleges are pivotal to the development of a strong and vibrant economy through the provision of professional and technical skills which are increasingly required at higher levels.

Federation of Small Businesses, Regional Chairman, John Friel, said: “It was great to see such a high standard of entrants from South Eastern Regional College again, demonstrating the real quality of entrepreneurial talent being cultivated within our FE Colleges.

“I would like to congratulate finalists Chloe and Nicole for their excellent business ideas, and in particular to commend Ciara Connolly on winning the inaugural FSB Connect award, recognising the entrepreneurial flair she displayed in her submission.”

Minister Farry added: “My Department is due to publish a new strategy ‘Further Education Means Success’ and this will provide a significant opportunity to drive positive economic change and promote social inclusion.”

Gerry Campbell, Colleges NI Chief Executive, said: “I was delighted with the standard of applications this year which is testament to the dedication, hard work and professionalism of the lecturers.”