IBYE 2015 launched. The search is on…

2015 competition to target in particular young Irish people overseas

The Taoiseach and the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation today launched the nationwide search to find Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE), with a total investment fund of €2million available for young people throughout every county in Ireland.

Aimed at those aged between 18 and 30, the competition is an integral part of the Action Plan for Jobs and is supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices.

The Taoiseach and Minister Bruton today launched the 2015 competition at an event in Dublin’s docklands, and urged all young people with a startup or a business idea to apply through their Local Enterprise Office before 31st July. The competition is free to enter, and further information is available from LEOs nationwide as well as at www.ibye.ie

The first stage is a county-based competition, with a closing date of July 31st through the Local Enterprise Offices, leading to the naming of the Best Young Entrepreneur in each county.  This will be followed by eight regional finals, with one young business-person being crowned Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur later in the year at the national finals in Google’s European HQ in Dublin before the end of the year.

Up to €50,000 will be awarded to 3 winners in each county. The winners at national level can then receive up to an additional €50,000 and over 400 young entrepreneurs will also win places at regional Business Bootcamps with mentoring supports, to further develop their business skills.

During last year’s highly successful inaugural competition, over 1,000 applications were received, 400 young entrepreneurs took part in Business Bootcamps and 93 young entrepreneurs throughout every county in Ireland won cash investments for their businesses. At the first-ever National Final last December at Google, Eamon Keane of Xpreso Software in South Dublin clinched the overall title of ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ for his parcel delivery software company, ahead of runners-up from the tourism and food sectors.

The aim of the initiative is to support a culture of entrepreneurship among young people in Ireland, to promote entrepreneurship as a career choice, and to encourage Ireland’s young people to set up new businesses which will ultimately create jobs.

Part of the effort to attract applications from young people both in Ireland and abroad will be a comprehensive social media and marketing campaign.

Launching the nationwide competition today, the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD said:  “This Government is determined to support jobs, enterprise and local recovery, and make sure that work pays.  Our vision for Ireland is to be among the most entrepreneurial nations in the world and to be acknowledged as a world-class environment in which to start and grow a business, including for young people with bright ideas.  ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ is a unique, interactive and challenging competition, but with clear and tangible results, from self-development and networking to the valuable financial aid available to category winners.  Increasing entrepreneurial activity is a core theme of the 2015 Action Plan for Jobs with the aim of doubling the jobs impact of start-ups in Ireland over the next five years.”

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD said: “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. That is why we have placed start-ups right at the centre of our Action Plan for Jobs, and put in place new measures like establishing a new system of easily-accessible supports through the Local Enterprise Offices.

“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 in every county in Ireland also ultimately Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur. Last year as part of the judging panel in the inaugural IBYE I was overwhelmed by the quality and the energy of the young business-people who took part in this competition. I firmly believe that IBYE can be a crucial means of encouraging more young people to consider entrepreneurship as a career choice and ultimately create jobs.

“I urge any person under 30 who has a business or a business idea to contact your local LEO or visit IBYE.ie and apply to become Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur for 2015”.

Speaking on behalf of the Local Enterprise Offices, Sheelagh Daly said:

“The doors of the Local Enterprise Offices across the country are always open for anyone thinking of setting up a business or for those looking to grow their business here in Ireland. Through important initiatives, such as Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur competition, we’re looking forward to supporting more of our young people with their business ideas and start-ups ventures. Our advice for anyone thinking of getting involved in this year’s competition is to take the first step by simply getting in touch with your Local Enterprise Office to start your entrepreneurial journey.”

The deadline to apply for this year’s Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur competition is Friday, July 31st and the full details are available through www.ibye.ie or by searching #IBYE on social media and YouTube.


For further information contact:

Press Office, DJEI, Tel: 01 631 2200, email: press.office@djei.ie


Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur 2015 (#IBYE)

Website: www.ibye.ie (going live on May 27th 2015, at time of official launch)

Social Media: #IBYE

Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur is a competition that is open to everyone with an innovative business idea

  • individuals
  • venture teams
  • partnerships
  • existing businesses with a new idea
  • people overseas (including Irish emigrants) who will headquarter in Ireland

We are looking for Ireland’s best young entrepreneurs.

If you are aged between 18 and 30, with an outstanding idea/commercial venture for a start-up or existing business then you should enter the IBYE Competition. Almost any young person with a business idea can enter this competition. It doesn’t matter what your background is. Maybe you have been to University and researched a business idea, maybe you have always wanted to be your own boss, maybe you want to work for yourself, maybe you have an idea to improve your existing business or maybe you want to return home and set up your business in Ireland?

It doesn’t matter what you want to do all that matters is you have a good business idea that works. The IBYE competition is a national competition to find Ireland’s best young entrepreneur. Applying is simple, with no entry fees, and there is a €2 million investment fund and targeted business supports on offer to help you turn your business idea into a reality. The competition is broken down into three categories:

  • Best New Idea (pre-trading)
  • Best Start up Business (up to 24 months)
  • Best Established Business  (over 24 months)

Each Local Enterprise Office (LEO) is running a competition 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 – overall county winners will be eligible for an investment of up to €20,000.

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 before the end of the year.

Again there will be winners identified for each category as well as an overall winner who will be crowned Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur. There will be a total fund of €100,000 available for investment in the three winning businesses at the national finals, with the overall winner eligible for an investment of up to €50,000. Investment decisions will be made depending on business prospects and investment needs of the winning businesses.

Who can apply?

Before you start preparing your application, please make sure that you’re eligible to apply:

  • Aged between 18 (at date of application) and 30 (at 31st   December 2015).
  • Applicants aged under 18 at date of application are not eligible to apply.
  • Original and innovative idea, start-up or existing business.
  • Applicants must own, control and manage their business Intellectual Property.
  • Not for profit and social entrepreneurship applicants must operate in a commercial domain.
  • The applicant must be the main promoter i.e. has the lead role in the business and/or has a significant shareholding in the business.
  • In the case of a family business, the applicant must set out when they took control of the business and demonstrate the transformational impact they have had on the business since taking control.
  • Applicants must enter the competition in the LEO area in which their business is located.
  • IBYE 2014 Winners will be entitled to enter the IBYE 2015 competition if they satisfy the following criteria:

-Enter a different category.

-Enter the same category but demonstrate that the business has used the IBYE 2014 investment productively and has achieved significant commercial milestones since last year’s competition. These would include evidence of increased employment, increased turnover, improved profitability, engagement with new markets etc.

-Enter a completely new idea or new business.

  • Applicants must be Irish residents eligible to own, manage and operate a business in Ireland at the time of application.
  • Applicants from overseas, in particular Irish diaspora, are encouraged to apply. Overseas applicants must identify which LEO they wish to be associated with and the applicant must be in a position to engage with the LEO in relation to evaluating their competition entry (e.g. site visit / skype interview). To receive an investment, an overseas applicant must have relocated to Ireland and registered their business in Ireland, that business being the beneficiary of the investment.
  • Applicants must submit an online application and optional video by the closing date of the 31st July 2015.
  • One project submission per applicant is allowed.