Patrol praise ‘hotbed of innovation’

Snow Patrol’s Jonny Quinn had a surprise in store for local young entrepreneurs at the weekend, as well as some sound business advice.

The elite of Northern Ireland’s young entrepreneurs were celebrating at the Young Enterprise Awards at Belfast City Hall, when they heard from the Ulster drummer.

Local charity, Young Enterprise with support from Ulster University Business School and EY was staging its annual awards ceremony, where it crowned the top businesses and individuals who have developed entrepreneurship skills this year.

Jonny Quinn delivered the message from the headquarters of his own enterprise Polar Patrol Publishing.

He said: “I also started my own business five years ago in music publishing. I found it a lot tougher than I imagined, but also really exciting to see my small idea grow into a real business. Northern Ireland has always punched above its weight in music, the arts and in sport. It’s your turn as young entrepreneurs to make Northern Ireland a hotbed for innovation in business.”

The award winning companies were ActiKids from Friends’ School Lisburn who created a children’s travel journal and will now represent Northern Ireland in the UK-wide Company of the Year Competition in London, and Classy Crafts from the Learning Support unit at Londonderry’s Lisneal College who sold high quality hand-crafted gifts and environmentally friendly recycled fire logs.

Emilie Vose, Glenlola Collegiate, Bangor and Charlotte Campbell, Coleraine High School, took the winner and Runner-up Entrepreneur of the Future Awards, winning the once in a lifetime opportunity to represent Northern Ireland at the annual Next Generation Leaders Forum in Canada.

Professor Marie McHugh, Dean of Ulster Business School commented on her school’s relationship with Young Enterprise NI:

“Working alongside Young Enterprise is an ideal way to prepare our young people for the world of business. The Ulster Business School is delighted to support the Young Enterprise Awards and to help celebrate the many outstanding achievements of students on the Company and Team Programmes, inspiring them to create and run their own business.”

Young Enterprise Northern Ireland is part-funded by the Department of Education with support from the business sector. For more information about Young Enterprise and to see how you can support and get involved, visit