National Final of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur

County Kilkenny Entrepreneur John Duggan represents the county at the National Final of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur


16th September 2019


John Duggan co-founder of Loanitt Ltd represented Kilkenny at the National Final of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur Competition. In all, 24 finalists from 20 counties competed for the overall title and 8 of them made a live pitch to the judging panel in the final round at the Foundry in Google Headquarters on Sunday last 15th September.   The Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys, T.D. announced the winners in each category; Best Idea, Best Startup and Best Established as well as Overall Winner.


The IBYE programme, which is run by the network of Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) in local authorities nationwide, funded by the Government of Ireland with the support of the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and Enterprise Ireland, attracted over 1,600 applicants in 2019 with an investment fund of €2million. Already through the programme, 185 entrants have secured investments of between €3,000 and €15,000 each.


John Duggan was representing Kilkenny in the Best Idea Category, with his new business concept Loanitt - an innovative and disruptive new technology platform that streamlines the credit application process with one application, whilst offering customer choice by creating a credit marketplace. John along with his business partner Padraig Nolan have set up the company which now acts as a credit intermediary working with multiple lenders in the Irish market.


Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys, T.D. said at the awards ceremony “Irish entrepreneurs are among the very best in the world. That’s because we have a huge talent in every region and community in Ireland. IBYE is about celebrating that talent”. She added “This year’s winners and wider group of finalists are the cream of the crop. They are our future business leaders and I am delighted that we are celebrating and supporting them through the competition”.


The overall winner of the IBYE award and also Best Start Up category recipient was Sharon Cunningham who founded Shorla Pharma with her former EirGen colleague Orlaith Ryan, based in County Tipperary. The company focuses on improving existing medication treatments for children’s and women’s cancers. The other IBYE National final category winners were Martin O’Reilly of Output Sports who won the Best Idea Category and Sean McGarry of Showergem who won the Best Established Category.

National Final of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur

Press Releases

Read all about the latest news, upcoming events, supports etc. for entrepreneurs and small businesses in County Kilkenny


Tenders of potential interest to Local Enterprise Office clients.

Winning Public Sector Contracts

An introduction to public procurement for sole traders and small to medium businesses

Public Call for Expression of Interest

In this section, the Local Enterprise Office Kilkenny will advertise opportunities to register for our soft supports panels - i.e. mentoring, training programmes, etc.