The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton T.D. met Michael Noble from Noble Education based in Delgany and Shane Byrne, from Showoff based in Wicklow town, who are national finalists in this year’s ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ competition.
The Wicklow based finalists are being supported in the competition by the Local Enterprise Office Wicklow.
Over 1,000 young entrepreneurs, all aged between 18 and 30 and from every county in Ireland, applied for the first ever ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ competition, which is being run by all 31 Local Enterprise Offices.
24 finalists from 17 counties have now made it to the national final and the announcement of winners will take place on Sunday, December 7th at Google’s European Headquarters in Dublin.
As always, County Wicklow punched above its weight, securing two finalists in the competition. Michael Noble in the Best Start Up category and Shane Byrne with his business partner Philip Kirwan in the Best Established Business category.
Launched earlier this year by Minister Bruton and supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, the nationwide competition forms part of the Action Plan for Jobs 2014, with a total €2million fund available to county winners and overall national winners, who each can win a total of up to €70,000 investment in their business.
Winners will be offered a place on the Google “Adopt a Startup” program 2015.
Minister Bruton met Michael and Shane at the one-day business bootcamp at Wayra in Dublin, saying: “Two thirds of all new jobs come from start-ups in their first five years of existence – that is why we have put in place a range of measures through our jobs plan to encourage more people to establish and grow new businesses in Ireland. A key part of this is encouraging more young people to consider starting a business as a career choice, and that is why we have put in place IBYE – to support, encourage, and celebrate our brilliant young entrepreneurs. The sheer energy and quality of the 24 entrepreneurs who will compete in the IBYE national final, having come through a competition involving over 1000 applicants, is hugely encouraging. I look forward to seeing more of them over the coming weeks as they compete to be named as Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur”.
Sheelagh Daly, Head of Enterprise at LEO highlighted the year-round supports that are on offer to young people thinking of setting up their own businesses, saying: “The Local Enterprise Office is a first stop shop for any new start-ups or small businesses looking to grow and expand. As well as one-to-one mentoring support and specialised training, the Local Enterprise Office can also offer access to grants and loan facilities, to help get more businesses up and running.”
Further updates about ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ and YouTube videos for each of the national finalists are available through www.ibye.ie or by searching #ibye on social media.
The official IBYE channel on YouTube is https://www.youtube.com/user/IBYEire. Videos generated by many of the finalists showcasing their businesses are available at this link.