STUDENTS from Cork secondary school Scoil Mhuire Gan Smál Blarney have come up with a novel way of encouraging people to save their loose change.
Transition Year students Emily Twomey and Eimear Henchion have established their own mini-company Save4Change as part of the annual Student Enterprise competition.
The enterprising students have handed crafted money-saving boxes to encourage people of all ages to save their loose change.
The boxes have separate compartments for the different values of money and have a detachable back to take out the coins. The duo also hopes their product will help people learn about the importance of saving.
Emily said the idea initially came about after chats with her father about a box for keeping the leftover loose change.
After some initial brainstorming, they started work on their project back in September. Eimear said they recently won a competition hosted by the local Blarney Chamber of Commerce.
“We bought all the raw materials locally. We have the wood and all the materials to cut out such as the perspex and the polycarbonate for the box. It takes nearly two hours to make one. We make the product and sell it on. We had a class competition recently for all eight mini-company groups in the school which was hosted by the Blarney Chamber of Commerce. We were fortunate to win that,” she said.
The product retails at €25 and the students are taking orders on their various social media platforms. Emily said they have also teamed up with the local Men’s Shed in Blarney.
“They are built to last a lifetime. We have a social media page on which the orders can be placed on both Instagram and Facebook.
Emily said she is delighted with their finished product which is very practical and will suit all ages.
“Our main aim with this concept was to help people to save money. It is important kids and adults save so they can best put their money to good use. It is very practical. We are thrilled with the end product. We are hoping to get into the counties competition now in March. Ms O’Keeffe was a great help to us when we were getting our idea up and running.”
Emer O’Keeffe who is the Transition Year Coordinator in Scoil Mhuire Gan Smál Blarney said the girls ultimately hope to tie their concept in with national schools nationwide.
“There might be an opening there as primary school students especially in the younger classes are often dealing with money and getting used to practicing with it. It has got a huge market.”
Ms O’Keeffe said everyone in the school is all very proud of Eimear and Emily. “They are very charismatic and great students. We are all very proud of them. They are a credit to our school.
“We had eight teams overall this year. There is a great culture of enterprise and entrepreneurship in the school. It is really growing which is very pleasing,” she added.