Drogheda’s Orla Stafford (Izmoo) and Dundalk’s Conor Kerley (Setanta Nutrition Science) pictured with Minister Pat Breen and Minister Heather Humphreys at the Dept. of Business, Enterprise and Innovation. Conor and Orla will represent Louth at the National Finals of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur at Google on 15th September. Note the painting of the Drogheda Cement factory in the background. Photo: Julien Behal.
Orla Stafford, the founder of Izmoo Gelateria in Laurence Street, is one of two young business people from County Louth to have made it through to the national finals of the Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) competition which take place in Google HQ next Sunday 15th September.
For Orla and the other Louth representative, Conor Kerley of Dundalk based Setanta Nutrition Science, the journey to the national finals has been a long one. From the original 1,600 competitors nationwide they have made it through bootcamp, county finals and regional finals.
On Tuesday last Orla and Conor went to the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation to meet Minister Heather Humphreys and Minister Pat Breen and explain their business. They also met the other 22 competitors and took part in an intensive Pitch Training Day ahead of the judging on Thursday next, 12th September.
Orla outlined the difference that IBYE has made to her as an entrepreneur and business person: “The competition has helped me as an entrepreneur to strive for further success and growth of my business and helped me to build a network of other like-minded highly motivated young Entrepreneurs.’
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Describing the impact IBYE has had on his developing business, Conor explained: “Taking part in Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur has been such an inspiration for my business. I and my business Setanta Nutrition Science have been supported, guided and mentored from the start by the team in the Local Enterprise Office in Louth. To be among Ireland's Best Young Entrepreneurs, who display so much passion, energy and drive, is a truly amazing experience. I’ve learned so much through the process and I’ll carry that learning with me forever.”
IBYE Co-ordinator for Louth Sarah Mallon concluded “The team at the Local Enterprise Office in Louth are so proud of our two finalists, Conor and Orla. We are one of only three counties in Ireland to have two representatives at the finals. They are brilliant young entrepreneurs and we’ll be cheering loudly for them on Sunday in Google.”
The Local Enterprise Office in Louth provides support, mentoring, training and, in certain cases grant aid, to businesses and business owners at all ages and stages. To learn more about their services visit: www.LocalEnterprise.ie/Louth.