County Louth Winner Reaches ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ National Final

JKEO5715Niamh O’Neill a young Louth entrepreneur has won a place at the first-ever national final of ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ competition, for a chance to share a €100,000 investment fund. Niamh is a Fashion Designer based in Dunleer Co Louth and she is representing the region in the Best Established Business category at the national final in Dublin this December. Niamh has already won €20,000 in investment from the Local Enterprise Office.

On Tuesday 11 November three business owners scooped awards in Best Idea Category won by Mark O’Reilly Complete Receipt from Cavan, Best Start-up Business Steven Murphy Old Carrick Mill Distillery from Monaghan and Niamh O’Neill Best Established Business from Louth

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

Congratulating the finalists Jed Nash TD Minister of State at Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation said: “Central to our plans for jobs and growth is supporting more businesses to start-up. Part of this plan is also fostering a stronger culture of entrepreneurship and promoting start-up business as a career option for young people. That is what is behind this new competition to find the best young entrepreneur in the region also ultimately Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur.”

Niamh now faces tough competition from 23 other finalists, emerging from eight regional finals. The €100,000 investment fund in December is divided up across four prizes:

-          Best New Idea (€20,000 investment)

-          Best Start Up (€30,000 investment)

-          Best Established Business, with New Add On (€30,000 investment)

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

Importantly, over 400 business owners and start-ups from around the country have benefitted from intensive business bootcamps and mentoring programmes at local level, as part of the competition.

The Head of Local Enterprise Office Louth said: “We are very proud and honoured to have a representative at the national final in December, as over 1,000 businesses entered from every county in Ireland and competition for every place was intense. Our finalist now has a chance of being crowned ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ and to win additional investment of up to €50,000 in their business. We’d also like to congratulate all our other nominees and entrants, who ‘flew the flag’ for us at the county and regional finals and we look forward to supporting their businesses into the future.”

For all the latest news and updates about the ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ competition, visit, or search #ibye on social media.