Mayo’s Best Young Entrepreneurs Announced

€50,000 investment fund presented by Local Enterprise Office Mayo to six young entrepreneurs in the county, all aged between 18 and 35.

ibye winners

The Mayo winners of IBYE 2016: L to R: Peter Hynes (Mayo County Manager), Niamh McNally (Wild Child), Cllr Michael Kilcoyne (Mayo County Council), Nigel O’Reilly (Nigel O’Reilly Goldsmith), Cllr Al McDonnell (Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council), Rachel Nolan (Rachel's Irish Adventures), Joanne Grehan (Director of Services – Planning, Economic & Community Development), John Magee (Head of Mayo Enterprise (Acting))

Mayo’s best young entrepreneurs have been announced at the County Final of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) competition, which took place in Breaffy House Hotel & Resort on the 5th 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.

Best Young Entrepreneur

Nigel OreillynewThe overall “best young entrepreneur” for the county was named by Local Enterprise Office Mayo as Nigel O’Reilly, aged thirty five, from Nigel O’Reilly Goldsmith in Claremorris, Co. Mayo. The entrepreneur also won the category for Best Established Business and an investment fund from LEO Mayo worth €15,000.

Best Business Idea & Best Business Start Up

The other main category winners on the day were Niamh McNally, aged thirty two, from Wild Child in Westport, Co. Mayo in the Best Business Idea category and Rachel Nolan, aged thirty one, from Rachel’s Irish Adventures in Ballina, Co. Mayo in the Best Start Up Business category. The top prize in the Best Business Idea category was €7,000, with a top prize of €15,000 for the Best Start Up Business category. All three category winners will now be representing the County at one of eight IBYE Regional Finals, taking place during January 2017.

Rachel NolanMeanwhile, the category runners-up also shared an investment of €13,000 between their three businesses. They were: Norah Patten, aged 33, Planet Zebunar from Ballina, Co. Mayo in the Best Business Idea category; Anthony Broderick, aged 27, The Adventures of Jack & Adam in the Best Start Up Business category and finally, Aaron Page, aged 34, Bean West Coffee in Westport, Co. Mayo in the Best Established Business category.

John Magee is the Head of Mayo Enterprise (Acting) with Local Enterprise Office Mayo and he 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.”

The vital role of the judging panel was also acknowledged at the awards ceremony and this year’s judges included: Stephen Rochford, Retail and Business Manager of AIB Westport and Anne Walsh, Founder & Director of Allergy Lifestyle. The Regional Finals for IBYE are taking place in January 2017, to select 24 national finalists across the three competition categories.

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