Kildare's best young entrepreneurs set to compete in county final

Sixteen of the county's young business people nominated

Leinster Leader reporter

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Kildare's best young entrepreneurs set to compete in county final

IBYE participants at our recent Business Bootcamp or Enterprise Day

The competition to find Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) steps up a gear this month as county finals takes place right across the country - and Kildare is no exception.

Jacqui McNabb Head of Enterprise for Kildare said; “We had a huge response to the competition this year. We’ve attracted entrepreneurs aged 18-35 from right across the county with an amazing array of business ideas and start-ups.

READ MORE: Search starts for Kildare's best young entrepreneur

“We’ve also been really impressed by the young entrepreneurs who’ve entered in the Best-Established category, many of whom have multiple employees or are already exporting into international markets. Judging by the calibre of entries this year, the future of enterprise in Kildare is looking bright.”

IBYE co-ordinator in Kildare, Doreen Heavey added; “IBYE is a springboard for young entrepreneurs here locally, connecting them to their Local Enterprise Office who can help them to start or expand a business. Everyone who entered the competition was invited to Enterprise Day led by Gavin Duffy of Dragon’s Den. From there, 15 shortlisted companies are taking part in an intensive Business Bootcamp before the county final.”

Kildare’s shortlisted entrepreneurs are:

BEST BUSINESS IDEA CATEGORY

Matthew McCann, Access Earth

Pierce Darrgan, MediEquine Records

Fiona O’Dywer, My Equine PA

Laura Dennison, Quick Course

Oisin Hurley, Talk 2 Me More

BEST START-UP BUSINESS:

Senan O’Riordan, Race Only Springs

Vivienne O’Connor, Vivienne O’Connor

Maeve Elliot, Mr Jenks

Patrick O’Callaghan, Kontex

Paul Roche, RPM Greentech

BEST ESTABLISHED BUSINESS:

Catherine Dooley, Rockfrocks

Brian Conroy, Pop Up Races

David O’Connell, True Fitness Naas

Eoin Mulvey, LapCup

Sean Corley, Martin Corley Tyres

The county final will take place on December 1 in Kilkea Castle. The event will be hosted by LEO Kildare and presentation of awards will be made by An Tánaiste and Minster for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Frances Fitzgerald, TD.

“County Finals are pretty intense. Finalists will meet the panel of judges, present their business, face a gruelling interview and answer business questions. Judges will then have the task of choosing a winner and runner up in each of the three categories,” said Ms McNabb.

“Winners in Kildare will share in an investment fund of €50,000 which will help them to grow their business and build on current success. Category winners will go forward to represent Kildare in the regional finals in January.”

Now in its fourth year, Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur is run by the Local Enterprise Offices, in partnership with the Local Authorities, across the country and is supported by Enterprise Ireland and the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation.