Industry & Business

Taoiseach Unveils Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur Finalists

Taoiseach Unveils Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur Finalists

Taoiseach Unveils Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur Finalists
February 17
13:05 2017

An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, today unveiled on Thursday the 24 finalists from around the country who will battle it out in the National Final of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) competition.

A record 1,842 young entrepreneurs, aged between 18 and 35, have taken part in this year’s IBYE. The competition has progressed through county and regional stages where 24 young entrepreneurs have now emerged as national IBYE finalists and will compete for the title of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur. The IBYE Final takes place at Google’s European Headquarters in Dublin on Sunday, 5th March.

“I am overwhelmed and inspired by the entrepreneurial talent that I have encountered here,” Kenny said. “In this fast-moving world, there can be no standing still and we must always stay ahead of the curve in terms of business. It is vital that we nurture our young businesspeople, encourage them, and give them supports as they strive to make an impact and to succeed.

A key motivator and showcase for Ireland’s young entrepreneurial talent, IBYE is run by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices nationwide and supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and Enterprise Ireland. The initiative carries a total investment fund of €2 million. Already, 180 young entrepreneurs and business owners have benefitted from their participation in the earlier stages of the competition, receiving investments of between €3,000 and €15,000 each.

Minister for Employment and Small Business, Pat Breen, TD, said: “IBYE is one of the most important vehicles we have to help encourage, motivate and kick-start new business in Ireland. The fact that there was a 32 percent increase in entries in this year’s IBYE competition is a reflection that our young people are eager and hungry to follow their dreams and do it for themselves. Entrepreneurs such as these are a key force in helping to create jobs across every region.”

At the National Final, the overall winners and runners-up in the three IBYE categories – Best Business Idea, Best Start-up and Best Established Business will be announced and one of the three national category winners will be crowned ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’.

This year’s finalists include young innovators with world-class businesses and business ideas including:

  • An app that helps people with Parkinson’s Disease take control of their illness by addressing mobility and fine hand movement issues.
  • A ground-breaking blood test that helps vets instantly detect infections in horses and small animals.
  • A cloud-based software that allows large organisations to track their carbon footprint.
  • A website to help match substitute teachers with post-primary schools.

A winner and runner-up will be selected in each of the three IBYE categories, and along with the overall winner, will share the €100,000 national final investment fund at the awards ceremony on Sunday, March 5th.

Highlighting the benefits of the competition for young entrepreneurs, Sheelagh Daly of the Local Enterprise Offices said: “Over the three years of the IBYE competition so far, more than 1,200 young entrepreneurs have benefitted from taking part in IBYE Business Bootcamps and 360 have won investment funding for new or growing businesses. By taking up the supports on offer through LEOs, we are seeing that even more young entrepreneurs are up-skilling; they are developing and refining their plans and business models and they are using financial assistance to unlock new markets and expand their teams.”



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