Local Winner heading for ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ National Final

Local Winner heading for ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ National Final


A young Kilkenny entrepreneur has won a place at the national final of the prestigious ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ competition, for a chance to share a €100,000 investment fund.


John Duggan, Director and co-founder of Loanitt Ltd was announced as the National Finalist for the IBYE Best Idea category at an awards ceremony held in the Step House Hotel, Carlow on Wednesday evening 19th June. John along with his co-founder Padraig Nolan recently formed a Fintech company that is currently at an advanced stage of development in terms to providing a cutting-edge technology platform that streamlines the credit application process for all stakeholders. The company are currently in the process of recruiting an IT software developer.


Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) competition is an integral part of the Action Plan for Jobs and is supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through the 31 Local Enterprise Offices around the country.


At the IBYE Regional Final held in the Step House Hotel, Borris, Co Carlow on Wednesday evening 19th June , three local business owners and new start-ups from Kilkenny, all under the age of 35, went head-to-head with other county winners from Carlow, Wicklow and Wexford. The three young entrepreneurs representing the county at the Regional Final were:

  • Best Business Idea; John Duggan, Loanitt ltd
  • Best Business Start Up; Jens Kopke, Motoklik
  • Best Established Business; Rory Gannon, CakefaceRegional final iBye

 The nominees were all interviewed by a three member judging panel and had to deliver a business pitch. Assessed on criteria such as business innovation, job creation potential and financial planning, the announcement of the national finalists was made at a reception in the Step House Hotel.


John now faces tough competition from 23 other finalists, emerging from eight regional finals. The €100,000 investment fund will be presented in Google Foundry, Dublin on Sunday 15th September. The investment fund is divided up across four prizes:

-        Best New Idea (€15,000 investment)

-        Best Start Up (€20,000 investment)

-        Best Established Business (€20,000 investment)

-        Overall Winner of ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ (an additional €20,000 investment)


The Head of Enterprise with the Local Enterprise Office Kilkenny, Fiona Deegan said: “We are very proud and honoured to have had such strong contenders in this year’s ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ competition, especially when you consider that over 1,500 small business owners entered this year. I’d like to congratulate all our nominees and entrants, who participated in the competition and we look forward to supporting their businesses into the future.”


News, results and updates for ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ competition, is available through www.ibye.ie, www.localenterprise.ie and by searching #IBYE on social media.