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Nationwide search for Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) advances to the County Finals stage

On 19th November, just over 1,800 young entrepreneurs aged between 18 and 35 will commence the battle to find Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur.

The search to find Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur is advancing to the next stage, with the announcement of the dates of the County Finals throughout November and December

IBYE, which has a €2 million investment fund, is run by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) and is supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and Enterprise Ireland.

A series of Bootcamps involving enthusiastic young entrepreneurs from a variety of business backgrounds are continuing across the country. The Bootcamps facilitate participants’ access to expert networking opportunities, business guidance and mentors to assist in overcoming challenges in developing their businesses.

The first of the County Finals takes place in Waterford on 19th November. Each of the 31 LEOs has an investment fund of €50,000 to award to up to six local entrepreneurs across three categories: Best Business Idea, Best Start-Up Business and Best Established Business.

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D, said:

“As the Bootcamps continue, it is exciting to hear that IBYE is gathering pace and moving on to the next level. IBYE is not just a competition, it is a training ground to guide and mentor young entrepreneurs through all the stages of developing a business.  A 32% rise in the number of entries this year speaks volumes. This is the proof that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well amongst our young people. This is what the country needs more of in order to create and sustain more jobs throughout Ireland”.

Sheelagh Daly with Local Enterprise Offices said that the standard of entries is very high this year. She said: “The exceptionally high standard of entries will make the competition tough and challenging, but it will also help bring out the full potential of entrants and inspire them to succeed whether they win at the county final stage or not. We see the IBYE initiative as a springboard for young entrepreneurs, who want to start or expand a business. They will have the support of their Local Enterprise Offices around the country, all year around.”

IBYE is now in its third year and this year’s entrants are hoping to follow in the footsteps of the 2015 national winners: James Foody of Ayda in South Cork, (Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur for 2015 and Best Start-Up Business), Blaine Doyle of GlowDX in Kilkenny, (Best Business Idea), and James Keogh of Rathwood in Wicklow, (Best Established Business). The inaugural winner of the competition in 2014 was Eamon Keane of Xpreso Software in South Dublin.


Details for IBYE County Finals (November and December 2016)

Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur ( Some details are TBC

Local Enterprise Office County Final Date County Final Location
Waterford 19/11/2016 Granville Hotel, Waterford
Kerry 23/11/2016 Ballygarry House Hotel, Tralee
Wexford 29/11/2016 Council Chambers, County Hall, Wexford
Leitrim 29/11/2016 Landmark Hotel, Carrick On Shannon
Donegal 30/11/2016 Silver Tassie Hotel, Letterkenny, Co.Donegal
Dún Laoghaire Rathdown 30/11/2016 Royal Marine Hotel, Dún Laoghaire
Fingal 30/11/2016 County Hall, Swords
Cork City 01/12/2016 Vertigo, Cork County Hall
Cork North & West 01/12/2016 Vertigo, Cork County Hall
Cork South 01/12/2016 Vertigo, Cork County Hall
Longford 01/12/2016 Sin Bin Event Centre, Longford Rugby Club
Offaly 01/12/2016 Tullamore Dew Distillery, Tullamore (TBC)
South Dublin 01/12/2016 LEO South Dublin Offices, Belgard Square North, Tallaght, Co. Dublin
Mayo 02/12/2016 Breaffy House Hotel, Castlebar (TBC)
Roscommon 02/12/2016 Abbey Hotel, Roscommon Town
Dublin City 05/12/2016 Oak Room, Mansion House, Dublin
Limerick 05/12/2016 Castletroy Park Hotel (TBC)
Monaghan 05/12/2016 Hillgrove Hotel, Monaghan
Kilkenny 06/12/2016 Kilkenny County Hall, John St, Kilkenny City
Galway 08/12/2016 Portershed, Galway City Innovation District, Eyre Square, Galway
Kildare 08/12/2016 Kildare County Council Offices, Aras Chill Dara, Devoy Park, Naas, Co. Kildare
Carlow 09/12/2016 Seven Oaks Hotel, Carlow
Sligo 09/12/2016 The Glass House Hotel, Sligo
Westmeath 09/12/2016 Aras an Chontae, Mullingar (TBC)
Laois 13/12/2016 Heritage Hotel, Killinard
Louth 13/12/2016 Bellingham Castle, Castlebellingham, Co. Louth
Wicklow 13/12/2016 Tinakilly Country House Hotel, Rathnew
Meath 13/12/2016 Bellinter House, Navan, Meath
Cavan 15/12/2016 Hotel Kilmore, Dublin Road, Cavan
Clare 15/12/2016 Buttermarket Building, Drumbiggle Road, Ennis
Tipperary 15/12/2016 The Peppermill, Nenagh