The Rural Development Council has crowned South West College student, Joel Cuddy a regional winner of the Rural Youth Entrepreneurship (RYE) programme at the recent RYE Awards.
The Rural Youth Entrepreneurship project seeks to build a strong enterprise spirit among young people to enable them to participate fully in delivering local economic and social opportunities, including business start-ups in rural areas.
Joel, a Level 3 Diploma in IT student from the South West College in Cookstown presented his business idea, which aims to repurpose old phone masts to create unified Wi-Fi hotspots covering large areas and to provide an improved and less expensive internet connection.
Throughout his endeavours, Joel has been supported by the South West College’s Enterprise Action Hub, which exists to promote youth enterprise skills, confidence and know-how among the college’s student body.
Speaking about his involvement in the project and his success at the recent RYE Awards, Joel said;
“The Rural Youth Entrepreneurship programme has been a huge help to me as an entrepreneur. I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting people from various backgrounds and learning more about their enterprise projects. “The feedback from the judges has been priceless, particularly given the diverse experience, advice and skills amongst the panel and I’m delighted to have been introduced to some great business support networks and financial institutions which will prove beneficial as I move forward with my business idea.”
As one of the Northern Ireland winners, Joel will travel to Lapland in January 2018 to represent the region and the College at the overall RYE Cool Awards.