Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry MLA has presented the ‘Future Student of Business Awards’ to students from across each of the six Further Education Colleges in Northern Ireland - including one woman from Ballycastle.
Belfast Met student Cathryn Bartolovic, of Celtic Diva Dance Creations, walked away with the overall award and £1,350 in prize money.
Attracting new clients through social media, Cathryn plans to use her award to expand her online presence, with a view to opening her own business premises in the future.
Her Irish Dancing dresses have already been worn by both Festival and Feis dancers and, as a result of the extensive market research she has undertaken, Cathryn has honed her products to suit local customers’ needs.
Minister Farry said: “These awards are an excellent opportunity for further education students to gain recognition for their business skills and their future potential for business success.
“Entrepreneurship is of vital importance to the economy and it is only right that it is recognised and rewarded.
“Our local Colleges are pivotal to the development of a strong and vibrant economy through the provision of professional and technical skills which are increasingly required at higher levels. My Department is shortly due to publish a new strategy for further education – ‘Further Education Means Success’ – which will set out the future direction of further education in Northern Ireland, and this will provide a significant opportunity to drive positive economic change and promote social inclusion.”