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€20,000 funding for two ‘established’ young entrepreneurs in Westmeath

Local Enterprise Office Westmeath is calling on more established entrepreneurs to enter this year’s €2 million Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur competition before the October 14th deadline.

The Best Established Business category is one of three categories in the IBYE competition, which is aimed at young business owners aged 35 and under. Local Enterprise Office Westmeath has a county investment fund of €50,000 and the local winner of the Best Established Business category will receive €15,000 with the runner-up receiving €5,000.

Last year’s national winner of the established business category was James Keogh of Rathwood Home and Garden in Wicklow, which welcomes 300,000 visitors every year. Other national finalists in the same category last year included the milliner Jennifer Wrynne from Leitrim and Alicia Treanor of Nutri-Snax in Cavan. They were joined by Mark Sheahan from Recycle Right in Limerick, Tim Dunleavy of Dunleavy Bespoke in Kildare, Oz Ibrahami of Hex CNC in Roscommon, Eddie Lynch of Suir Sprayers in Waterford and Peter Roberts of Roberts of Dalkey seafood company in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown.

The local winner of the Best Established category last year was Dean Gammell from DG Ventures GoIrishTours.com in Kinnegad.

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 www.ibye.ie by the 14th October deadline.”  

Christine Charlton, Head of Enterprise with Local Enterprise Office Westmeath 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.”

Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) is an initiative of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and Enterprise Ireland, and is run by the 31 LEOs across the country. The other two categories in the competition are Best Business Idea and Best Business Start-Up.

Further details about the IBYE competition, which is open to 18 to 35 year-olds, are available from the 31 Local Enterprise Offices nationwide, through www.localenterprise.ie and from the IBYE website at www.ibye.ie


For media queries, please contact your Local Enterprise Office.

Notes to Editor:

About IBYE

Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur is a programme that is open to people between the ages of 18 (at date of application) and 35 (at 31st December 2016) with an innovative business idea, including: • individuals • venture teams • partnerships • existing businesses with a new idea • people overseas (including Irish emigrants) who will headquarter in Ireland Each Local Enterprise Office (LEO) is running a competition in each county (Friday October 14th closing date) aimed at finding winners in each of the three categories as well as an overall county winner. Each LEO will have a total fund of up to €50,000 to invest in six businesses (three category winners and three runners-up) according to criteria including businesses’ investment needs. The three categories are as follows:

  • Best Business Idea (pre-trading) – up to €10,000 investment fund through every LEO (€7,000 for category winner and €3,000 for runner-up, through every LEO)
  • Best Start-Up Business (up to 36 months), with up to €20,000 investment fund through every LEO (€15,000 for category winner and €5,000 for runner-up, through every LEO)
  • Best Established Business (over 36 months) with up to €20,000 investment fund through every LEO (€15,000 for category winner and €5,000 for runner-up, through every LEO)

The county winners will then proceed to eight regional finals from which 24 contenders (three from each region – one in each category) will be selected to compete for the national title of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur. A further €100,000 investment fund will be available to invest in the winners of the three categories at the national final, one of which will also be named with the prestigious title of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur.