The latest search to find Fingal’s Best Young Entrepreneur and ultimately Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) aged between 18 and 35, is getting underway, through Local Enterprise Office Fingal.
With a €50,000 investment fund available for county winners, this national enterprise initiative attracted 1,842 applications across the country last year and supported over 450 young entrepreneurs through training, mentoring and direct financial assistance.
Announcing the start of this year’s programme, Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise and Innovation, Frances Fitzgerald said:
“Building on the success of previous IBYE competitions, this Government wants to support more young entrepreneurs right across the country through the LEOs. Ireland has a well-earned reputation as a country that supports and fosters enterprise.”
The initiative is co-ordinated by all 31 Local Enterprise Offices and begins with a nationwide competition across three categories at county level: Best Idea, Best Start-Up Business and Best Established Business. Around 450 applicants, across every Local Authority area, will be invited to regional ‘Entrepreneur Bootcamps’ in November, to help them develop their business and new venture ideas.
With an investment fund of €50,000, Fingal Local Enterprise Office will award six investment prizes to three category winners and three runners-up, before the Regional Finals early next year. The local winners in the Best Start-Up and Best Established Business categories will receive €15,000 each and the two runners-up will each receive €5,000. The Best Business Idea winner locally will receive an investment prize of €7,000 and the runner-up will receive €3,000.
The Head of Enterprise in Fingal, Oisin Geoghegan said: “The €50,000 investment fund for Fingal winners is a very important part of the competition and will help more young entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and create more jobs here locally. Other business supports, such as management training, networking and one-to-one mentoring are also at the heart of the IBYE competition.”
Paul Reid, Chief Executive of Fingal County Council said: “The latest census showed that Fingal has a younger population than the national average, with 70 per cent under the age of 40. We are also very fortunate to have a well-educated and highly skilled population base. I am keen to ensure that we provide the necessary environment that will stimulate innovation and enterprise.”
The competition is now in its fourth year and to enter, young entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 35 in Fingal are being asked to visit the competition website at www.ibye.ie, to submit their entry online. The closing date to enter is Saturday, September 29th and there is no entry fee.