At a ceremony in Wicklow County Campus, Rathnew on Tuesday, 29th September, awards were made for Wicklow’s best start-up, best new idea, and best existing business, as well as an overall award for the best young entrepreneur in the county.
The local winners and investments won were as follows:
- Best New Idea (winning a €10,000 investment): Ross Lawless of CALT Dynamics
- Best Start-Up (winning a €20,000 investment): Michael Carney of Raindrop Drinks
- Best Established Business (winning a €20,000 investment): James Keogh of Rathwood
James Keogh of Rathwood was also named as Wicklow’s “Best Young Entrepreneur”.
All local winners went on to represent Team Wicklow at the regional finals in Kilkenny on the 19th of October, James Keogh of Rathwood deservedly beat off stiff competition from within the South Leinster region to win the Best Established Business category.
Following on from his County and regional success, James won the ‘Best Established Business’ award at the Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ National Final, winning a €30,000 investment fund for his business.
The Minister for Jobs, Richard Bruton T.D. made the announcement in front of 360 guests at the IBYE national final, held at Google’s European Headquarters in Dublin on Sunday, December 6th.
Rathwood is renowned for its year-round themed events, with the retail entertainment company welcoming over 250,000 visitors every year and employing over 200 people. Undoubtedly, a worthy winner.
Sheelagh Daly, Head of Enterprise, Local Enterprise Office Wicklow congratulated James Keogh on his win, saying: “We are very proud of James who has worked exceptionally hard in making Rathwood a national entertainment destination, providing local employment and bringing more than 250,000 visitors to the area every year. It is a big win for James and his team, but also for Wicklow and we’re delighted to have been there from early days to support James and his business. We’d encourage anyone who has been inspired by James’s story to access the wide range of enterprise supports available from their Local Enterprise Office.”