Three of the county’s best young entrepreneurs have won a total investment of €50,000 through the Local Enterprise Office Leitrim, as part of the €2 million Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur competition (#IBYE).
Aimed at young and aspiring entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 30, Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur competition is an integral part of the Action Plan for Jobs and is supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through the network of 31 Local Enterprise Offices.
At a ceremony in Lough Rynn Castle, Mohill on 6th October, awards were made for Leitrim’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): Iain Keaney, U-Clid, Manorhamilton
- Best Start-Up (winning a €20,000 investment): Edwina Guckian, Éiru Online Dance Company, Drumsna
- Best Established Business (winning a €20,000 investment): Jennifer Wrynne, Jennifer Wrynne, Gorvagh
Jennifer Wrynne from Jennifer Wrynne was also named as Leitrim’s “Best Young Entrepreneur”.
All local winners will now represent Leitrim at the regional finals in The Hive, Carrick on Shannon on 27th October. A total of 24 finalists will then compete at the Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur National Finals in December.
Marking the occasion, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD said:
“Central to our plans for jobs and growth is supporting more businesses to start-up. Two thirds of all new jobs are created by start-ups, so if we are to create the jobs we need we must support more entrepreneurs to start new businesses. Part of this plan is also fostering a stronger culture of entrepreneurship and promoting start-up business as a career option for young people. That is what is behind this new competition to find the best young entrepreneur also ultimately Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur. We have excellent start-ups and entrepreneurs in Ireland – we just don’t have enough of them. It is great to see so many excellent entrepreneurs and business-people getting involved in this competition, and I am delighted to congratulate the local winners. I wish all three winners every success in the later stages of the competition – and wish all participants every success as they grow their businesses and contribute to the job-creation we need”.
Special guests at the #IBYE County Awards included Frank Curran, Chief Executive, John Mc Cartin, Cathaoirleach Leitrim County Council.
Speaking at the ceremony, Joe Lowe, Head of Enterprise from the Local Enterprise Office Leitrim, paid tribute to all the young entrepreneurs in the region, saying: “As the first stop shop for entrepreneurs and small businesses, it is heartening to see a growing and vibrant community of young entrepreneurs locally. Through Business Bootcamps, mentoring and general business advice, the Local Enterprise Office plays a vital role in supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs, on a year-round basis. We will also be working closely with this year’s IBYE winners, to help maximise the return on the €50,000 investment that they have been awarded.”
Speaking at the event Frank Curran Chief Executive of Leitrim County Council outlined the importance of young entrepreneurs for the development of the County and congratulated all the finalists that took part this year wishing the winners every success at the next stage of the competition.
This year’s judging panel were also thanked during the ceremony for their role in the competition and members included Joe Lowe, Head of Enterprise, Local Enterprise Office, Carole Brenan, Senior Regional Development Executive, Enterprise Ireland and Brian Dolan, Business Consultant & Author.
Back in 2014, Leitrim was represented in last year’s #IBYE competition by Brian Moran, Watertech, Aughavas, Richard Wilson, Wilson Machinery, Ballinamore and Niall Kieranan, Global Green Consultancy, Carrick on Shannon.
Details around Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur competition are available through www.ibye.ie and information on supports for all small businesses can be accessed through www.localenterprise.ie.
Interview opportunities are available with 2015 #IBYE winners and finalists, along with representatives of the Local Enterprise Office. For all queries around Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur Competition, please contact your Local Enterprise Office.
Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur 2015 (#IBYE)
Social Media: #IBYE
Now in its second year, Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur is a competition that is open to everyone with an innovative business idea
- venture teams
- existing businesses with a new idea
- people overseas (including Irish emigrants) who will headquarter in Ireland
The competition is broken down into three categories:
- Best New Idea (pre-trading), with €10,000 investment prize fund available through every LEO
- Best Start up Business (up to 24 months), with €20,000 investment prize fund available through every LEO
- Best Established Business (over 24 months) with €20,000 investment prize fund available through every LEO
Each Local Enterprise Office (LEO) ran a competition from May to August 2015, aimed at finding winners in each of the three categories as well as an overall winner in each county. Each LEO will have a total fund of €50,000 to invest in the three winning businesses according to criteria including businesses’ investment needs.
The competition will then proceed to eight regional finals with winners identified in each category. In total, 24 finalists will be selected during the regional finals, during the judging stage. All 24 finalists will win a place at the IBYE national finals, to be held in December.