The latest search to find Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) is getting underway in Cork this week, through Local Enterprise Office Cork North and West.
With a €2million investment fund available, including a €50,000 investment fund for Cork North and West winners, the enterprise initiative from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and Enterprise Ireland attracted 1,400 applications across the country last year and supported over 450 young entrepreneurs through training, mentoring and direct financial assistance.
The initiative is co-ordinated by all 31 Local Enterprise Offices and begins with a nationwide competition across three categories at county level: Best Idea, Best Start-Up Business 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, Local Enterprise Office Cork North and West 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.
Kevin Curran, Acting Head of Enterprise at Local Enterprise Office Cork North & West said: “The €50,000 investment fund for Cork North and West 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.”
The competition is now in its third year and last year’s local winners were: Stephen Murphy of Ride On from Mallow in the Best Business Idea category; Meave O’ Keefe of Inspect4 from Conna in the Best Start-Up Business category and Aimie Musgrave of Crunch Food Company from Carrigaline in the Best Established Business category. Cork-based James Foody of Ayda went on to win the overall prize and was crowned Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur 2015.
To enter, young entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 35 in Cork North and West are being asked to visit the competition website at www.ibye.ie, to submit their entry online. The closing date to enter is Friday, October 14th and there is no entry fee.
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