Abbey Vocational School
Donegal Town

Mini Companies

Mini Companies

Transition Year Mini Companies

Mini companies form an integral part of our Transition Year Programme here at the AVS and many of our mini companies have been very successful over the years.

Every year we host our Christmas Trade Fair which gives students the opportunity to display their work. Through direct involvement and practical experience students gain a realistic understanding of how enterprise works and gain many new skills which are required for the world of work and enterprise.

Recently in 2021, a sole trader won the Regional Donegal Enterprise Competition and the NFTE Regional and Semi Final Competition with a Handcraft Tweed frame "Irish Tweedscapes" and represented the school in both virtual national finals.

Irish Tweedscapes

In 2020 Ava McLoughlin's entrepreneurial journey started during her transition year as sole trader by creating the unique TY Mini company Irish Tweedscapes. Irish Tweedscapes is a 100% Irish owned and operated business specialising in unique, hand-crafted, Magee Tweed gifts, capturing the heritage of our country.

She started her business back in October 2020 where she wanted to create a product that was unique, new to the market and something that offered customers a ‘small piece of home’ at an affordable price. Her products started with size 5x7 frames for €15 and later went on to sell size 8x10 frames for €25 with the first design being a map of Ireland. This map is still, to date, the company's best seller.

Ava began to sell her frames in the lead up to the Christmas season 2020 in Magee of Donegal which was a huge milestone for Irish Tweedscapes. She upgraded the design by adding a small wooden heart to the Ireland frames in my customer's chosen county. This ventured the company on to personalised frames which is a best seller.

Irish Tweedscapes compete in the NFTE competition winning the Donegal regional competition which lead the company to compete in the semi final where this young entrepreneur pitched her business plan to three judges achieving her place in the National finals. Irish Tweedscapes also achieved 1st place in the senior category for the Student Enterprise Programme in Donegal county and competed in the national finals.

This company sold products internationally as far as New Zealand. Most recently to date sell her products in department stores such as Mc Elhinneys and Magee’s of Donegal.

This young entrepreneur had huge achievements as was recognised in the Sunday world magazine for top 4 valentines gift in Ireland in 2020. Showcase her product offering on Virgin Media 1 as well as a media interview on Today Fm.

Ava states “Becoming a student entrepreneur at such a young age has really opened up so many opportunities as I began to trade internationally, dealing with different stakeholders in business during the rebrand process and various marketing opportunities. This is my passion and I am researching digital marketing for my future. I would recommend becoming a student entrepreneur as I have gained so many skills which will help me develop as a confident young adult and having the opportunity to study the Leadership in Business course at the University of Michigan” .

Mini Companies
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Abbey VS Newsletter - March 2024
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The Glebe, Donegal Town, Co. Donegal, F94A409.
074 97 21105
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