Mitchelstown entrepreneur through to regional final


Mitchelstown entrepreneur through to regional final

It was a case of Dragon’s Den fever in Mitchelstown when 3 finalists in the district final of the Network For Teaching Entrepreneurialism Business Plan competition, were all vying for a place in the regional finals.

Friday, 15 March 2013
3:00 AM GMT

There was tough competition in Mitchelstown last Friday as the Youth Cafe turned into a Dragon's Den when three members who were through to the district final of the Network For Teaching Entrepreneurialism (NFTE) Business Plan Competition, were all vying for a place in the regional finals today (Thursday).

Sadie Allen and Natasha Brosnan of Ballyhoura Development Ltd were the judges, who had to make the hard decision between Adrian Lambe's DJ business 'DJAJ'; Josh Evans' valeting and car wash business 'Grime To Shine' and Heather Coleman's jewellery making business, 'Heather's Jewellery'.

While all three displayed innovation, enthusiasm and market awareness with their business ideas, it was Heather who was deemed to have had looked 'outside the box' and brought her business to another level. She was declared as the winner and this morning (Thursday) she will be in the regional final in The Firgrove Hotel, Mitchelstown facing competition from Limerick, Charleville, Portlaoise, Waterford and Ballincollig, with the goal of attaining a place in the national final in The Helix in Dublin on April 10.

The Southern Regional final will be judged by Minister Sean Sherlock, Ballyhoura’s enterprise manager, Padraig Casey and NFTE’s national coordinator, Maria Doherty.

The NFTE programme was run by volunteers Moss Hennessy and Aine Moher, who freely gave up their time to train in Dublin to become certified NFTE facilitators and all three competitors said that it was with their help, that their business ideas developed into a viable businesses over the past year.


Through the programme, Moss and Aine helped the Youth Cafe members with key areas such as exploring business opportunities, advertising and branding, cost analysis, record keeping and customer relations.

Heather's Jewellery started out as a business, which created and sold jewellery before moving on to become a business which facilitated jewellery making classes and birthday party entertainment. It was this move in direction, which saw Heather declared as the winner and the judges said that this showed that Heather was confident enough to take risks in targetting new business opportunities and she was constantly evaluating it, to ensure that it remained sustainable.

Adrian Lambe spoke about his business 'DJAJ', which provides DJ entertainment for parties, fundraising events and he also gives something back to the Youth Cafe by giving a regular free disco to the members. Adrian said that the Mitchelstown Youth Cafe gave him the opportunity to achieve a certificate in Youth Leadership and Community Action last year.

Speaking about his business venture 'Grime To Shine', Josh Evans said that his family and wide circle of friends have played a huge role in helping his business to grow in the past year. He added that he provides affordable options to his customers from a basic handwash, to a deluxe valet option and also rewards customers for their regular use of the service through a loyalty scheme.


A spokesperson for Mitchelstown Youth Cafe said that they are delighted with the progress they have made since they first opened, including the opportunities that the NFTE programme gives young people.

They wish to thank volunteers Moss Hennessy and Aine Moher, Tesco and community champion Liz Downes for their continued support of young people as well as Ballyhoura Development for their assistance and support in getting this programme to Mitchelstown.

"A special mention must be given to our local development officer, Sadie Allen for the great work she has done in supporting and promoting the work of the Youth Cafe. Her willingness to judge our local competition along with Natasha is also something we would like to acknowledge publically.

"Last but not least, a big thank you goes to Pat and Brenda Tangney and their staff at The Firgrove Hotel for facilitating the regional final of the competition," the spokesperson said.

To find out more about the three businesses or avail of their services, Adrian Lambe of DJAJ can be contacted on

086 3760098, Josh Evans of Grime To Shine on 087 2176112 and Heather Coleman of Heather's Jewellery can be found on Facebook or by contacting 087 6174637.

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