The search to find Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) is advancing to the County Final stage, which takes place on December 1st in The Landmark Hotel, Carrick on Shannon and is being organised by Local Enterprise Office Leitrim.
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.
At the upcoming IBYE County Final on December 1st, Local Enterprise Office Leitrim has an investment fund of €50,000 to award to up to six local entrepreneurs across three categories: Best Business Idea, Best Start-Up Business and Best Established Business.
Nineteen young entrepreneurs have made it through to this year’s IBYE County Final and are ready to face the judges, whose members include: Joe Lowe, Head of Enterprise, Mary Boyle from Enterprise Ireland and Brian Dolan of Progressive Business Development.
The County Finals follow successful bootcamps all over Ireland involving enthusiastic entrepreneurs from a variety of business backgrounds. This year’s competition attracted a record 1,800 entries around the country, up by a third on the 2015 competition.
The competition is now in its third year and Joe Lowe, Head of Enterprise with Local Enterprise Office Leitrim said that the standard of entries is higher than ever. “The exceptionally high standard of entries will make the competition tough and challenging, but it will also help bring out the full potential of entrants and inspire them to succeed whether they win at the County Final stage or not. We see the IBYE initiative as a springboard for young entrepreneurs here locally, who want to start or expand a business. They will have the support of their Local Enterprise Office all year around.”
Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D, said: “As the Bootcamps continue, it is exciting to hear that IBYE is gathering pace and moving on to the next level. IBYE is not just a competition, it is a training ground to guide and mentor young entrepreneurs through all the stages of developing a business. A 32% rise in the number of entries this year speaks volumes. This is the proof that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well amongst our young people. This is what the country needs more of in order to create and sustain more jobs throughout Ireland”.
This year’s county finalists are hoping to follow in the footsteps of last year’s local winners. They were: Jennifer Wrynne, Edwina Guckian, and Iain Keaney.
Further details on the competition and supports available to young entrepreneurs are available through www.localenterprise.ie and from the IBYE website at www.ibye.ie.