Laois’s Best Young Entrepreneurs Announced

Press Release                                             14th December 2016

Laois’s best young entrepreneurs have been announced at the County Final of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) competition, which took place in the Heritage Hotel, Killenard on the 14th December.

IBYE, which has a €2 million investment fund, is run by all 31 Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) and is supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and Enterprise Ireland.

The overall “best young entrepreneur” for the county was named by Local Enterprise Office Laois as Alan Meredith, Alan Meredith Studio age 25, from Mountmellick . The entrepreneur also won the category for the Best Start up Business Category and an investment fund from LEO Laois worth €15,000.

The other main category winners on the day were Francis Cosgrave, Sonrimor Limited, age 33 in the Best Business Idea Category and Kelly Ging, Kelly-Lou Cakes age 27 in the Best Established Business category. The top prize in the Best Business idea category was €7,000 with a top prize of €15,000 for the Best Established Business category. All three category winners will now be representing the County at one of eight IBYE Regional Finals, taking place during January and February 2017.

Meanwhile, the category runners-up also shared an investment of €13,000 between their three businesses. They were: Alison Mc Evoy, AA McEvoy, age 25 in the Best Business Idea category; Adrienne Muldowney, Muldowney Denture Studios, age 31 in the Best Start up category and finally, Frankie Horan, Frankies Hairdressing Salon, age 32 in the Best Established Business category.

Evelyn Reddin is the Head of Enterprise with Local Enterprise Office Laois and she said: “We started the search to find Ireland’s best young entrepreneur in August and the competition received a record-breaking number of entries this year, with 1,800 young entrepreneurs applying nationally. After a very successful IBYE bootcamp and County Final, the future is bright for both youth entrepreneurship and job creation in the region.”

Special guests at the IBYE County Final included: Cathaoirleach of Laois County Council, Cllr. Tom Mulhall and Kieron Kehoe, Deputy Chief executive and Ena Coleman, Enterprise Ireland

The vital role of the judging panel was also acknowledged at the awards ceremony and this year’s judges included: Ailish Delaney, Mairead English-Maher and Mark Atterbury. The Regional Finals for IBYE are taking place in January and February 2017, to select 24 national finalists across the three competition categories.

Further details on the competition and supports available to young entrepreneurs are available through and from the IBYE website at


For media queries, please contact your Local Enterprise Office.

Notes to Editor:

About IBYE:

  • Ireland’s      Best Young Entrepreneur is an enterprise initiative run by the 31 Local      Enterprise Offices (LEOs) around the country and funded by the Department      of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation      and Enterprise Ireland. A €2 million investment fund is available through      IBYE which supports young entrepreneurs through training, mentoring and      direct financial investments.
  • Now      in its third year, IBYE was open to people between the ages of 18 (at      date of application) and 35 (at 31st December 2016) with an innovative      business idea, new start-up or established business, including:      individuals, venture teams, partnerships, existing businesses with a new      idea, or people overseas (including Irish emigrants) who will      headquarter in Ireland.
  • Each      LEO has a total fund of up to €50,000 to invest in six businesses (three      category winners and three runners-up) according to criteria including      businesses’ investment needs. The three categories are as follows:

- Best Business Idea(pre-trading) – up to €10,000 investment fund through every LEO (€7,000 for category winner and €3,000 for runner-up, through every LEO)                                                               - Best Start-Up Business(up to 36 months), with up to €20,000 investment fund through every LEO (€15,000 for category winner and €5,000 for runner-up, through every LEO)                                    - Best Established Business(over 36 months) with up to €20,000 investment fund through every LEO (€15,000 for category winner and €5,000 for runner-up, through every LEO)

  • The      county winners will now proceed to eight regional finals in January and      February 2017 from which 24 contenders (three from each region – one in      each category) will be selected to compete for the national title of      Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur.
  • A      further €100,000 investment fund will be available to invest in the      winners of the three categories at the national final, one of which will      also be named as “Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur.