Investment funding on offer for Ireland’s young established entrepreneurs

Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) competition is seeking young entrepreneurs aged 18-35 with a business idea, a new start-up, or an established business, to enter by 14th October.

The IBYE ‘Best Established Business’ category is aimed at young entrepreneurs who have led their businesses for more than 36 months and is one of three categories in the IBYE competition. The other IBYE categories are ‘Best Business Idea’ and ‘Best Start-up Business.’

Speaking about IBYE, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D. said: “It is our nation’s young people who will create the jobs of the future and I want more of our young people to make running a business a career choice. So, be brave, this is the opportunity to realise your dream.  IBYE offers funding investment and mentoring to young and ambitious entrepreneurs which has proven to be invaluable to previous entrants. I would encourage all between 18 and 35, and in particularly those with established businesses, to grasp the opportunity that IBYE offers and get your application to by the 14th October deadline.”  

A 21-year-old entrepreneur who reached Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) national final last year, is using her investment winnings from the competition to break into new markets in Scandinavia and the Middle East this month.

Alicia Treanor is the Operations Director of Nutri-Snax in Cavan and the young food entrepreneur reached the national finals of the IBYE competition in the ‘Best Established Business’ category in 2015. She has used her IBYE winnings to invest in new food production equipment and manufacturing has started on a new snack line for export. She’s now calling on more established entrepreneurs, aged 35 or younger, to enter this year’s €2 million IBYE competition before the October 14th deadline.

According to Treanor, participating in the IBYE competition has had lots of benefits for her business. She said: “IBYE has opened many doors for my business and we are now recognised as a growing Irish food brand as a result. We have used funding from the competition to invest in new food production equipment to make a new type of vegetable snack. This is the first product of its kind being produced in Ireland and we already have distributors in place throughout Scandinavia and in countries like Kuwait, Israel and Iran.”

Sheelagh Daly of the Local Enterprise Offices said: “Once a company successfully comes through the start-up phase, growing an established business presents its own unique set of challenges. In addition to the significant investment funding on offer through the IBYE competition, every Local Enterprise Office will be inviting young entrepreneur entrants, including young established business owners, to take part in regional Business Bootcamps, with access to expert guidance and mentoring to help them overcome these challenges.”

Investment funding on offer for Ireland’s young established entrepreneurs

Pictured with the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Ms Mary Mitchell O' Connor T.D. were (left to right) Clo Rambaud of Clo's Chocolates in Sligo (age 31); Orla Brady of SoulSnacks in Westmeath (age 28); Daria Adamska of Stop and Stare Designs Company in Cavan (age 34); Paul Moore of Rebel Chilli in Cork City (age 24); Michael Eustace of Western Herd Brewing Company in Clare (age 35); Kevin O' Callaghan of O' Callaghan's Hurleys in North Cork (age 24).

With a €2million investment fund available overall, IBYE, now in its third year, is supporting young ambitious entrepreneurs right around the country. As well as the direct financial investment on offer to the winners of IBYE, hundreds of participants also benefit from IBYE boot camps, mentoring, marketing and other supports. IBYE attracted 1,400 applications across the country last year.

Every Local Enterprise Office has a total IBYE county investment fund of up to €50,000. The winner of the Best Established Business category in each county will receive up to €15,000 with the runner-up receiving up to €5,000. A similar amount is available for the county winner and runner-up in the Best Start-up Business category, while a total of up to €10,000 is available for each county winner and runner-up in the Best Business Idea category.

The overall winners of IBYE across the three categories at national level share an investment fund of up to €100,000. Last year’s national winner in the Best Established Business category was James Keogh of Rathwood Home & Garden in Co, Wicklow, which welcomes 300,000 visitors every year to its store and family events.

Further information and details about the IBYE competition are available from the 31 Local Enterprise Offices nationwide, through and from the IBYE website at