John McNicholas of Inspire Tiles and Stone Talks about his experience of IBYE

My Advice: Enter Mayo’s Best Young Entrepreneur  today!

John McNicholas

The closing date for applications for the Mayo’s Best Young Entrepreneur competition is March 15th. The competition is open to anyone aged 18-35 who has a great business idea or is already running their own business. Run by Local Enterprise Office Mayo, it is a brilliant opportunity for young entrepreneurs to learn from business mentors, network with other young business people and possibly to win valuable investment in their business. 

This week we talked to John McNicholas of Inspire Tiles and Stone from Claremorris, Co. Mayo who took part in the competition in 2017. We caught up with John to hear all about their experience of taking part in the competition.

Tell us about your business: “Inspire Tile and Stone is a new ultra-modern and design leading tile, wood flooring and sanitary wear specialists based in Claremorris, Co. Mayo. We provide a wide range of quality products using finest materials and leading manufacturers, whilst ensuring value for money for our customers.”

Where did you hear about the IBYE competition? “I heard about the competition on social media through Facebook where I was always keeping up to date with how our local enterprise office had been helping other businesses and also on our local radio station Midwest Radio.”

Why did you enter the competition? “I really didn’t know what to expect when entering the competition, but the reason I entered was not to win, but to make contact with other businesses like ourselves who were striving to develop our business network. It was also an opportunity to directly seek assistance from the Local Enterprise Office team and their extensive panel of mentors on to how best we could develop our business.”

What surprised you most about the competition? “Honestly, I was overwhelmed with the support from my Local Enterprise Office, as I had no previous interaction with them, I didn’t know how they could help. It is now clear that these services are there to be utilised by all businesses no matter the size and they are only delighted to help as much as they can. The other factor that surprised me is the number of young entrepreneurs that there are in our local community and it gives me great hope for the future of Irish business.”

How did you and your business benefit from being involved in IBYE? “The investment and mentorship provided by my Local Enterprise Office has amplified our business development and allowed us to fast track critical opportunities in the market.”

Why do you think a young entrepreneur should enter this competition? “IBYE was a not only a great experience it really challenged my future business plans and made me really think about what direction I wanted my business to develop.”

And finally, what piece of advice would you give to anyone thinking of entering this competition? “My advice to any entrepreneurs thinking of applying for the competition is to do it IMMEDIATELY. The mentorship and training I received from the IBYE competition really change your prospective on your business and how to set your business apart from the competition.”

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Encouraging young entrepreneurs from Mayo to enter the competition, Head of Enterprise John Magee explained “Now is the time for anyone aged 18-35 to log on to and enter the Mayo’s Best Young Entrepreneur competition. It’s simple, it’s free and it takes about 15 minutes. If you have any problems with the application, my colleague Elaine Moyles in the Local Enterprise Office is happy to help and can be reached on 094 9062499. We have a €50,000 investment fund to share between the winners in Mayo. This competition is a brilliant experience for young entrepreneurs and you never know where it will take you.”

Closing date for applications is Friday 15th March. Enter now on

Inspire Tiles and Stone provide a wide range of quality products using the finest materials and leading manufacturers and have a beautiful showroom based in Claremorris, showcasing their high-quality products. For any queries, contact them on 094 9372724 or email

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