Louth IBYE participants at arecent Business Bootcamp in The Mill Enterprise Hub, Drogheda.
The search for Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) steps up a gear this week with county finals taking place right across the country. And Louth is no exception.
“We had a huge response to the competition this year” said Louth’s Head of Enterprise Thomas McEvoy. “We’ve attracted entrepreneurs aged 18-35 from right across the county with a superb array of start-up and established businesses.
“We’ve also been really impressed by some very interesting concepts in the New Idea category. Judging by the calibre of entries this year, the future of enterprise in Louth is looking bright.”
According to Louth’s IBYE co-ordinator, Sarah Mallon, IBYE is a springboard for young entrepreneurs here locally, connecting them to their Local Enterprise Office.
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“We can help them to start or expand their business. Everyone who entered the competition this year was invited to “Enterprise Day” where they met with mentors, learned about the supports available to them and received valuable business advice. From there, shortlisted companies took part in an intensive Business Bootcamp before submitting their updated business plans for the county final.”
County finalists this year are from an eclectic mix of industries. “We’re seeing companies emerge in Food, Tourism, Education, Lighting, Health as well as the IT and social media. It’s an interesting selection and the judges have a challenging task ahead of them.”
The County Final will take place on Thursday 14th December in Bellingham Castle with awards, specially created by Louth ceramicist Sarah McKenna, being presented by Cathaoirleach Cllr. Colm Markey. Guest speaker on the night will be the unstoppable Margaret Robb of Sweet Little Babies, who is a past IBYE winner in Louth.
Finalists will meet the panel of judges, present their business, conduct an interview and answer questions. Judges will then have the task of choosing a winner and runner up in each of the three categories. Winners in Louth will share in an investment fund of €50,000 which will help them to grow their business and build on current success. Category winners will go forward to represent Louth in the regional finals in January.
Now in its fourth year, Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur is run by the Local Enterprise Offices, in partnership with the Local Authorities, across the country and is supported by Enterprise Ireland and the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation. The National Final will take place on Sunday 4th March at Google HQ and the winners of the competition will share in an investment fund of €100,000.
You can follow the competition on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Instagram.