The schools in the North West are a vital part of our economic ecosystem and are filled with the business leaders of tomorrow. In particular, the Chamber’s partnership with St Cecilia’s College, St Mary’s College, and Lumen Christi has shown the importance of managing young people’s transition from students to members of the workforce.

In an effort to recognise the young people of the city, the Derry Credit Union Young People’s Awards took place earlier this week at the City Hotel. Now in its 19th year, the awards featured 90 nominations received from 10 post-primary schools, sporting teams, family, and friends. 17 individuals and 7 groups were recognised as runners-up or winners across 8 award categories.

Having enjoyed music from the St Columb’s College Traditional Band at the start of the night, guests were treated to magnificent performances from young local singer-songwriters Cora Harkin and Rebecca Mulhern before the runners-up and winners were presented with their prizes.

The Chamber would like to congratulate all of the nominees and winners, in particular, Business & Entrepreneurship Award winner Ethan Diamond who started his own garden maintenance business in 2022, choosing neighbouring properties as his target customers. A wise businessman, he reinvested his profits in improved equipment. In 2023, he launched a Facebook page to promote his business and increase his customer base, producing flyers and commissioning a custom uniform to enhance his corporate image. For his commitment to building on success, expanding his business to include two friends, and refusing to accept anything other than perfection, Ethan was the deserved winner of this year’s Business & Entrepreneurship Award.

It is excellent to see Derry Chamber member, Derry Credit Union, recognising the talents of all those aged 11 through 18 who live or attend school in the BT47 and BT48 post code areas. These young people are the future of our city, and it is vital we as a business community support and nurture their development into our leaders of tomorrow.