The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’ Connor T.D urges young entrepreneurs to apply for Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE).

Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) is an initiative of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and Enterprise Ireland, and is run by the 31 LEOs across the country. Each LEO has an investment fund of up to €50,000 to award to young entrepreneurs across three categories locally – Best Business Idea, Best Start-Up Business and Best Established Business.

Meeting Minister Mitchell O’Connor were four previous IBYE award winners with dynamic businesses from the worlds of technology, food, waste management and retail: James Keogh (Wicklow) from Rathwood Home & Garden World Ltd.; Isolde Johnson (Dublin City) from The Cool Bean Company; Niall Mimnagh (Longford) from Mimergy; and Rhona Togher (Sligo) from Restored Hearing Ltd. They have all won IBYE awards over the last two years to include investment funding, business bootcamp places and one-to-one mentoring sessions. As well as the financial elements of IBYE, they stressed the importance of learning from each other at the IBYE bootcamps, and the invaluable advice and assistance at the one-to-one mentoring sessions.

They were also joined by representatives of Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs). Their message to aspiring young entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 35 is to grasp the opportunity and get their applications into www.ibye.ie by the 14th October deadline.

Speaking with the previous winners, Minister Mitchell O’Connor said: “It is so refreshing to hear the success stories from these inspiring and ambitious young entrepreneurs. I fully support Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur initiative, the aim of which, is to support a culture of entrepreneurship among young people at both national and local levels.  I want to promote entrepreneurship as a career choice, and to encourage young people to set up new businesses which will ultimately create and sustain more jobs right across the country. It is great to hear the success stories from the previous winners and witness the spirit and desire to achieve success. I have no doubt that their message will encourage more young people to enter the competition to find Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur for the third year in a row.”   

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Sheelagh Daly of the Local Enterprise Offices said: “The €50,000 per county investment fund on offer from each of the 31 Local Enterprise Offices is a major part of the competition, with up to six local businesses winning significant investment prizes in every local authority area. In addition, up to 450 young entrepreneurs from around the country will also win places at regional Business Bootcamps, with access to expert guidance and mentoring for their business ideas and new ventures.”

Further information and details about the IBYE competition are available from the 31 Local Enterprise Offices nationwide, through www.localenterprise.ie and from the IBYE website at  www.ibye.ie

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