Search for Fingal’s Best Young Entrepreneur gets underway

Search for Fingal’s Best Young Entrepreneur gets underway

€50,000 investment fund to support young Fingal entrepreneurs, aged between 18 and 35

The latest search to find Fingal’s Best Young Entrepreneur and ultimately Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) is getting underway, through Local Enterprise Office Fingal.

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With a €50,000 investment fund available for Fingal winners, this National enterprise initiative attracted 1,842 applications across the country last year and supported over 450 young entrepreneurs through training, mentoring and direct financial assistance.

Announcing the start of this year’s programme, Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise and Innovation, Frances Fitzgerald T.D. said:

“Building on the success of previous IBYE competitions, this Government wants to support more young entrepreneurs right across the country through the LEOs. Ireland has a well-earned reputation as a country that supports and fosters enterprise. Our young entrepreneurs are talented, innovative and dynamic. Last year, 180 young entrepreneurs won investment funding for their businesses through IBYE, helping them reach their export and job growth potential. I would encourage all young entrepreneurs, between the ages of 18 and 35, to talk to their LEO about the IBYE programme and the valuable supports available throughout the various stages of the competition.”

               

The initiative is co-ordinated by all 31 Local Enterprise Offices and begins with a nationwide competition across three categories at county level: Best Idea, Best Start-Up Business and Best Established Business. Around 450 applicants, across every Local Authority area, will be invited to regional ‘Entrepreneur Bootcamps’ in November, to help them develop their business and new venture ideas.

With an investment fund of €50,000, Fingal Local Enterprise Office will award six investment prizes to three category winners and three runners-up, before the Regional Finals early next year.

The local winners in the Best Start-Up and Best Established Business categories will receive €15,000 each and the two runners-up will each receive €5,000. The Best Business Idea winner locally will receive an investment prize of €7,000 and the runner-up will receive €3,000.

The Head of Enterprise in Fingal, Oisin Geoghegan explains: “The €50,000 investment fund for Fingal winners is a very important part of the competition and will help more young entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and create more jobs here locally. Other business supports, such as management training, networking and one-to-one mentoring are also at the heart of the IBYE competition. 450 young entrepreneurs benefitted from these business supports last year, so the rewards are there for participants, as well as for the winners. Taking part in IBYE will help Ireland’s young entrepreneurs to move their businesses to the next level, whatever stage their business is at.”

Paul Reid Chief Executive of Fingal County Council said: “The latest census showed that Fingal has a younger population than the national average, with 70% under the age of 40. We are also very fortunate in Fingal to have a well-educated and highly skilled population base. I am keen to ensure that we provide the necessary environment that will stimulate innovation and enterprise. Each of these factors combined will help us to cultivate a vibrant and progressive entrepreneurial culture in which small business will flourish, resulting in job creation and sustainable economic growth.”

The competition is now in its fourth year and last year’s local winners were: Marcin Kulik of SmartTrace Software from Malahide in the Best Business Idea category; Seamus Tighe of Everest Granola from Castleknock in the Best Start-Up Business category and Damian O’Kelly of Nutritics Ltd. from Swords in the Best Established Business category.

To enter, young entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 35 in Fingal are being asked to visit the competition website at www.ibye.ie, to submit their entry online.

 

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