Three young Wicklow entrepreneurs are flying the flag for the county at the regional finals of the inaugural ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ competition, which is offering an investment prize-fund of €2 million.
All under the age of 30, the local business owners and new start-ups are going head-to-head with other winners from Carlow, Wexford and Kilkenny on October 20th, for a chance to win a place at the national final in Dublin this December, in a competition co-ordinated by the Local Enterprise Office Wicklow.
Launched by the Government earlier this year, Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur competition is an integral part of the Action Plan for Jobs 2014 and is supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through the 31 Local Enterprise Offices around the country.
The Wicklow winners, who have been selected to represent the county at the regional finals, are:
- Shane Byrne and Philip Kirwan from ‘Showoff’ (Wicklow’s Best Young Entrepreneur and Best Established Business Category Winners)
- David Costello from ‘Better Talk’ (Best New Idea Category Winner)
- Michael Noble from ‘Noble Education’ (Best Start Up Category Winner)
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, which is one of the main aims behind ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ competition.”
The Head of Enterprise with the Local Enterprise Office Wicklow, Sheelagh Daly, said: “Our winners are proudly ‘flying the flag’ for the county, competing against other young entrepreneurs in the region for a place at the prestigious national final. But the benefits of entering the competition don’t end there. Throughout Ireland, over 400 finalists have already benefitted from intensive business bootcamps and mentoring programmes at local level, so the impact of this programme will be seen for many years to come.”
The regional final on October 20th is taking place at the Arboretum in Leighlinbridge, Co Carlow and the Mayors and Cathaoirligh of all participating local authorities are being invited to attend, along with representatives of the business community. The special guest speaker is Rachel Doyle, Managing Director of the Arboretum.
For all the latest news and updates about the ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ competition, visit www.ibye.ie, www.localenterprise.ie/wicklow or search #ibye on social media.