Search Is On For Best Young Entrepreneur

15 Aug 2017 | 02.17 pm

Search Is On For Best Young Entrepreneur

IBYE 2018 has a €2 million prize fund

15 Aug 2017 | 02.17 pm

There’s no rest for the entrepreneurial, as the search starts again for Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE).

The government-funded competition is run by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs), with support from Enterprise Ireland. Open to people between the ages of 18 and 35, IBYE is now in its fourth year and has an investment fund of up to €2m. The closing date for entries to IBYE 2018 is 29 September 2017.

The competition is run across three categories: Best Business Idea, Best Start-Up Business and Best Established Business. Up to 450 young entrepreneurs will be invited by the LEOs to attend free regional ‘Entrepreneur Bootcamps’ later in the year to help them develop their business and new venture ideas.

With an IBYE investment fund of €50,000 each, every LEO will award up to six investments to three category winners and three runners-up at county level. The local winners in the Best Start-Up and Best Established Business categories at county level will receive investments of up to €15,000 each and the two runners-up will each receive up to €5,000.

The Best Business Idea winner at county level will receive an investment of up to €7,000 and the runner-up will receive up to €3,000 of investment. These winners at county level will progress to regional finals early next year and the national IBYE finals will be held in March 2018.

Former IBYE national winners and finalists helped to launch the competition in St. Stephen’s Green in Dublin, among them Ciara Clancy of Beats Medical (IBYE Overall Winner 2017), Alvan Hunt of Hexafly (Best Business Idea National Winner in 2017).

Also present for the launch of IBYE 2018 were Samuel Dennigan of Strong Roots (Best Start-Up Business National Winner, 2017), Rhona Togher of Restored Hearing (Best Established Business National Finalist, 2014) and fashion designer Niamh O’Neill (Best Established Business National Finalist, 2014).

Sheelagh Daly, speaking on behalf of the LEO network, said that the financial investments on offer in the competition are complemented by other supports, such as mentoring and management training.

“Last year, 450 young entrepreneurs benefitted from these business supports and 180 of them won investment funding to help start and grow their own businesses, so the rewards are there for participants, as well as for the winners,” she added.

Photo: (From left) Rhona Togher, Restored Hearing; Alvan Hunt of Hexafly; Samuel Dennigan of Strong Roots; and Niamh O’Neill (Pic: Joe Keogh)

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