Nearly 100 Irish businesses to win “game-changing” investment

93 young Irish people from all over the country will win a “game-changing” investment for their own business, through Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur competition. That’s according to the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs), who are rolling out the IBYE competition through all 31 LEO offices this month.

The enterprising winners, who must all be aged between 18 and 30, will be awarded an investment prize of between €10,000 and €20,000 each to put straight into their business or to help fund a business idea.Nearly 100 Irish Businesses to win

The competition is part of the Action Plan for Jobs and was launched recently by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny. T.D. and the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mr. Richard Bruton T.D. The closing date to enter online through  is Friday, July 31st and the competition is only open to those aged between 18 and 30 with an existing business or with an idea for a new one.

Minister Richard Bruton said: “The prizes involved can be game-changing for a new business. The investment can be used to buy a new piece of equipment for example or it can be used to help pay the salary of a new employee joining the team. The experience of last year’s IBYE winners shows the great benefit that this competition can bring. We have a growing number of entrepreneurs here in Ireland, but we don’t have enough of them. Through Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur competition, we’re encouraging more young people to consider setting up a business as a career choice - and the supports on offer through IBYE can help them deliver on that”.

In last year’s IBYE competition, Philip Martin used his prize money to buy specialist machinery, helping him to open Ireland’s first tortilla-making factory in Tipperary (Winner: 2014 Best Business Idea).

The investment prize also helped Eamon Keane take on highly skilled staff at Xpreso Software in South Dublin (Winner: 2014 Best Start Up Business/ Overall Winner). The funds also helped Dean Gammell from Westmeath to expand his group booking software business into the UK (Winner: 2014 Best Established Business).

Every Local Enterprise Office (LEO) around the country has €50,000 to invest in three local businesses or start-ups. The three categories in the competition are: Best Idea (€10,000 investment prize), Best Start-Up (€20,000 investment prize) and Best Established Business (€20,000 investment prize).

In addition to investment prizes, additional supports are being offered to those entering, as Sheelagh Daly from the Local Enterprise Office explains: “Up to 500 young entrepreneurs and business owners will also be invited to take part in Business Bootcamps around the country, helping them finely tune their business plans and to learn new enterprise skills. One-to-one mentoring and business coaching will also be available, through all 31 LEOs. ”

July 31st is the deadline to enter the competition through and there are no entry fees.

Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur is supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices. Further competition details are available by searching #ibye on social media.