Last year's Kildare winner Jenny Reynolds of Topper Technology, with then-Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Kildare has launched the search to find Kildare’s Best Young Entrepreneur and ultimately Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE). Could it be you?
With a €50,000 investment fund available for Kildare winners, this national enterprise initiative attracted 1,842 applications across the country last year and supported over 450 young entrepreneurs through training, mentoring and direct financial assistance.
Announcing the start of this year’s programme, Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise and Innovation, Frances Fitzgerald T.D. said: “Building on the success of previous IBYE competitions, this Government wants to support more young entrepreneurs right across the country through the LEOs. Our young entrepreneurs are talented, innovative and dynamic. Last year, 180 young entrepreneurs won investment funding for their businesses through IBYE, helping them reach their export and job growth potential.
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“I would encourage all young entrepreneurs, between the ages of 18 and 35, to talk to their LEO about the IBYE programme and the valuable supports available throughout the various stages of the competition.”
The initiative is co-ordinated by all 31 LEOs and begins with a nationwide competition across 3 categories at county level: Best Business Idea, Best Start-Up and Best Established Business.
Around 450 applicants across every Local Authority area will be invited to regional Entrepreneur Bootcamps in November to help them develop their business and new venture ideas.
With an investment fund of €50,000, LEO Kildare will award six investment prizes to three category winners and three runners-up before the Regional Finals early next year.
The local winners in the Best Start-Up and Best Established Business categories will receive €15,000 each and the two runners-up will each receive €5,000. The Best Business Idea winner locally will receive an investment prize of €7,000 and the runner-up will receive €3,000.
The Head of Enterprise in Kildare, Jacqui McNabb explains: “The €50,000 investment fund for Kildare winners is a very important part of the competition and will help more young entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and create more jobs here locally. Other business supports, such as management training, networking and one-to-one mentoring are also at the heart of the IBYE competition. 450 young entrepreneurs benefitted from these business supports last year, so the rewards are there for participants, as well as for the winners. Taking part in IBYE will help Ireland’s young entrepreneurs to move their businesses to the next level, whatever stage their business is at.”
Councillor Martin Miley Jnr, Mayor of County Kildare said: “Now more than ever before, Local Authorities are connecting with young and aspiring entrepreneurs, through our LEOs. We are very keen to ensure that anyone with a good idea for a business is given the necessary encouragement and support every step of the way. There is a wealth of innovative thinking among our bright and increasingly confident young population. It is very important that we harness this resource to encourage enterprise locally. This will in turn create much needed sustainable employment and economic wealth throughout the country.”
The competition is now in its 4th year and among last year’s local winners were: Jenny Reynolds of Topper Technology in the Best Business Idea category and Eoin Mulvey of Labcup in the Best Start-Up Business category.
To enter, young entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 35 in Kildare can submit their entry online at www.ibye.ie. The closing date to enter is Friday, September 29th and there is no entry fee.