Local Winner heading for ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ National Final


Local Winner heading for ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ National Final


A young County Cork entrepreneur has won a place at the national final of the prestigious ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ competition, for a chance to share a €100,000 investment fund.


James Foody from Ayda is representing the region in the Best Start Up category at the national final in Dublin this December and has already won €20,000 in investment from the Local Enterprise Office South Cork.


Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) competition is an integral part of the Action Plan for Jobs and is supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through the 31 Local Enterprise Offices around the country.


At the IBYE Regional Final, three local business owners and new start-ups from South Cork, all under the age of 30, went head-to-head with other county winners from LEO Cork North and West, LEO Cork City, and LEO Waterford.


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 in Corrin Event Centre, Cork Marts in Fermoy with special guest Minister Sean Sherlock, TD. Other guests at the Regional Final included Cllr Mick Nugent, Deputy Lord Mayor of Cork and Deputy Mayor of the County, Cllr Kevin O’Keefe.


Congratulating the finalists, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton T.D. 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 competition to find the best young entrepreneur in each region, and ultimately Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur. I am delighted to congratulate all involved.”


The local winner 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 (€30,000 investment)

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


More than 400 business owners and start-ups from around the country have already benefitted from intensive business bootcamps and mentoring programmes through the network of Local Enterprise Offices, as part of the competition.


The Head of Enterprise with the Local Enterprise Office South Cork, Sean O’Sullivan, said: “We are proud and honoured to have a representative at the national final in December, as over 1,000 young entrepreneurs entered from every county in Ireland, with tough competition across each category. Our finalist now has a chance of being crowned ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ and to win additional investment of up to €50,000 for 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 the Local Enterprise Office looks forward to supporting their businesses into the future.”


The three young entrepreneurs representing the county at the Regional Final were:

  • Best Business Idea/ Patrick Corrigan/ Musica
  • Best Start Up/ James Foody/ Ayda
  • Best Established Business/ Stephanie Lynch/ On the QT



News, results and updates for ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ competition, is available through www.ibye.ie, www.localenterprise.ie and by searching #IBYE on social media.