Competition to find Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur, aged between 18 and 30, launched by An Taoiseach and Minister Bruton
Up to €50,000 investment prize-fund for three local winners, through Local Enterprise Office Wicklow
The Taoiseach, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and the Local Enterprise Office Wicklow have launched the search to find Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE), with a total investment fund of €2million available nationally and up to €50,000 on offer for three local winners.
Aimed at those aged between 18 and 30 in every county, the competition is an integral part of the Action Plan for Jobs and is supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices.
The Taoiseach and Minister Bruton urged all young people with a start-up or a business idea to apply through their Local Enterprise Office before 31st July. The competition is free to enter, and further information is available from the Local Enterprise Office (www.localenterprise.ie) as well as at www.ibye.ie
The first stage is a county-based competition, with a closing date of July 31st through the Local Enterprise Offices, leading to the naming of the Best Young Entrepreneur in each county. This will be followed by eight regional finals, with one young business-person being crowned Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur later in the year at the national finals in Google’s European HQ in Dublin.
Up to €50,000 will be awarded to three winners in each county. The winners at national level can then receive up to an additional €50,000 and over 400 young entrepreneurs will also win places at regional Business Bootcamps with mentoring supports, to further develop their business skills.
During last year’s highly successful inaugural competition, over 1,000 applications were received, 400 young entrepreneurs took part in Business Bootcamps and 93 young entrepreneurs throughout every county in Ireland won cash investments for their businesses.
At the first-ever County Wicklow Final, Shane Byrne and Philip Kirwan clinched the overall title of ‘Wicklow’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ for their software solutions company, Showoff.ie.
The aim of the initiative is to support a culture of entrepreneurship among young people in Ireland, to promote entrepreneurship as a career choice, and to encourage Ireland’s young people to set up new businesses which will ultimately create jobs.
Part of the effort to attract applications from young people both in Ireland and abroad will be a comprehensive social media and marketing campaign.
Launching the nationwide competition, the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD said: "This Government is determined to support jobs, enterprise and local recovery, and make sure that work pays. Our vision for Ireland is to be among the most entrepreneurial nations in the world and to be acknowledged as a world-class environment in which to start and grow a business, including for young people with bright ideas. ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ is a unique, interactive and challenging competition, but with clear and tangible results, from self-development and networking to the valuable financial aid available to category winners. Increasing entrepreneurial activity is a core theme of the 2015 Action Plan for Jobs with the aim of doubling the jobs impact of start-ups in Ireland over the next five years."
The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD said: “Two thirds of all new jobs are created by start-ups, so if we are to create the jobs we need we must support more entrepreneurs to start new businesses. That is why we have placed start-ups right at the centre of our Action Plan for Jobs, and put in place new measures like establishing a new system of easily-accessible supports through the Local Enterprise Offices.
“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 new competition to find the best young entrepreneur in every county in Ireland also ultimately Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur. Last year as part of the judging panel in the inaugural IBYE I was overwhelmed by the quality and the energy of the young business-people who took part in this competition. I firmly believe that IBYE can be a crucial means of encouraging more young people to consider entrepreneurship as a career choice and ultimately create jobs. I urge any person under 30 who has a business or a business idea to contact your local LEO or visit IBYE.ie and apply to become Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur for 2015”.
Speaking on behalf of the Local Enterprise Office Wicklow, Sheelagh Daly, Head of Enterprise, said: “The doors of the LEO Wicklow are always open for anyone thinking of setting up a business or for those looking to grow their business. Through important initiatives, such as Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur competition, we’re looking forward to supporting more of our young people with their business ideas and start-ups ventures. Our advice for anyone thinking of getting involved in this year’s competition is to take the first step by simply getting in touch with us here at LEO Wicklow to start their entrepreneurial journey.”
The deadline to apply for this year’s Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur competition is Friday, July 31st and the full details are available through www.ibye.ie or by searching #IBYE on social media and YouTube.