The competition to find Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur steps up a gear as county finals take place right across the country. And Kilkenny is no exception.

The County Final Presentation of Awards will take place on Monday 11th December in the Medieval Mile Museum, Kilkenny The event will be hosted by the Local Enterprise Office and presentation of awards will be made by Minister John Paul Phelan, T.D. Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government with special responsibility for Local Government and Electoral Reform.

Fiona Deegan Head of Enterprise for the Local Enterprise Office Kilkenny explains “We had a huge response to the competition this year. We’ve attracted entrepreneurs aged 18-35 from right across the county with an amazing array of business ideas and start-ups. We’ve also been really impressed by the young entrepreneurs who’ve entered in the Best-Established category, many of whom have multiple employees or are already exporting into international markets. Judging by the calibre of entries this year, the future of enterprise in Kilkenny is looking bright.” 

IBYE Bootcamp participants Kilkenny/Carlow

IBYE co-ordinator in County Kilkenny, Catherine Hennessy continues, IBYE is a springboard for young entrepreneurs here locally, connecting them to their Local Enterprise Office who can help them to start or expand a business. Everyone who entered the competition this year was invited to “Enterprise Day” where they met with mentors, learned about the supports available to them and got really valuable business advice. From there, shortlisted companies took part in an intensive Business Bootcamp before submitting their updated business plans for the county final.”

Prior to the Awards, Finalists will have met the panel of judges, presented their business, conducted an interview and answer questions. Judges will then have the task of choosing a winner and runner up in each of the three categories. Winners in County Kilkenny will share in an investment fund of €50,000 which will help them to grow their business and build on current success. Category winners will go forward to represent Kilkenny in the regional finals in January.

Now in its fourth year, Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur is run by the Local Enterprise Offices, in partnership with the Local Authorities, across the country and is supported by Enterprise Ireland and the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation. The National Final will take place on Sunday 4th March at Google HQ and the winners of the competition will share in an investment fund of €100,000. Follow the competition on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Instagram.