Grow2CEO launched to help find Ireland’s new young food entrepreneurs

Cullen Allen of Cully & Sully and Karen O’Donohoe of GIY want to bring in a new generation of food entrepreneurs
Cullen Allen of Cully & Sully and Karen O’Donohoe of GIY want to bring in a new generation of food entrepreneurs

GROW2CEO, a collaboration between Cully & Sully and food social enterprise GIY, has launched its 2018 competition, in which secondary school students across Ireland will learn the practicalities of growing their own food before developing and presenting their own food business idea.

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15 January 2019 | 0

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Registration has commenced for GROW2CEO – a unique competition to find Ireland’s next young food entrepreneurs in a collaboration between Cully & Sully and social enterprise GIY.  The campaign was launched in Cork by Cully & Sully co-founder Cullen Allen and Mick Kelly, founder of GIY.

GROW2CEO aims to provide students and teenagers across Irish secondary schools with everything they need to start growing their own food. The objective is to get a better understanding of what goes into the food they eat, and how to make healthier choices in their own lives. The campaign involves four exciting challenges, which will take students on a fascinating journey to create their own food business and soup recipe, while learning all about where food comes from.

Registered teachers will receive free growing kits, which will include everything students need to get started on growing spinach including seeds, pots, soil and plenty of expert growing recipe development tips from GIY and Cully & Sully. Later, they will be challenged to come up with their own recipe idea and a business plan, after which three classes will be selected  for the competition finale. A “Dragon’s Den” style pitch will take place at the home of GIY on Wednesday 15 May, where the winning class will be crowned GROW 2 CEO Champions 2019.

Michael Kelly of GIY said that  last year’s GROW2CEO competition was a phenomenal success. “It is really interesting to see the keen level of interest and the vast knowledge that teenagers have about their food,” Kelly said. “They are far more interested than their peers of ten or 20 years ago. We hope that the Grow 2 CEO campaign will encourage more students and schools to make growing and food nutrition a bigger part of the curriculum and therefore encourage more students to consider food entrepreneurship as a possible career choice in the future.”

Cullen Allen of Cully & Sully added that the brand is excited to launch GROW2CEO 2019 alongside GIY. “We are especially excited to see what Irish secondary schools come up with this year,” Allen said. “The 2018 campaign was hugely inspirational, with some amazing presentations and product concepts developed.

“We hope that the students will learn to appreciate the importance of using fresh produce and of course find the joy in growing their own ingredients,” he added.

Participation is free and registration is open until 15 February 2019. School students and teachers planning to participate in this nationwide competition can now sign up to take part via www.grow2ceo.ie.

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