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Are you Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur?

New €2million National Competition to find Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur – Taoiseach, Minister Bruton

Winning business at county level can receive investment of up to €25,000, national winners eligible for extra investment of up to €50,000

The Taoiseach and the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation today (Thursday) launched a new competition to find Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur, with a total fund of €2million available to invest in winning businesses and entrepreneurs in every county in the country.

This project is an integral part of the Action Plan for Jobs 2014 and is supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through the Local Enterprise Offices.

The competition will be run by the new Local Enterprise Offices, and the winners at county level will be eligible for an investment in their business of up to €25,000, while the winners at national level can receive an additional investment of up to €50,000. Investments in winning businesses will be determined according to business prospects and investment needs.

Mentoring, marketing and other supports will also be available to participating businesses at various stages of the competition.

The competition is open to individuals aged 30 and under and will be judged under three distinct categories:

· best new idea

· best start-up business

· best established business with new add-on

The first stage will be a county-based competition (run by the 31 LEOs) leading to the naming of the Best Young Entrepreneur in each county. This stage will include boot camps and mentoring programmes. This will be followed by regional finals and ultimately national finals with one business-person being crowned Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur before the end of the year.

There have been expressions of interest from television production companies on the possibility of covering the later stages of the competition in a reality TV format. It is expected that high-profile entrepreneurs will act as judges at various stages of the competition.

The aim of the initiative is to encourage and support a culture of entrepreneurship among young people in Ireland, to promote entrepreneurship as a career choice, and to encourage the establishment and development of new innovative businesses by Ireland’s young entrepreneurs. This is hugely important for job-creation as two thirds of all new jobs are generated by businesses in the first five years of existence – more start-ups and a thriving entrepreneurial culture will lead to more jobs being created.

Applying is simple – go to or your Local Enterprise Office – and the deadline is 30th June 2014.

Launching the competition today, the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD said: "I see the entrepreneurial spirit of young Irish people everywhere I go and the Government wants to support that so that young entrepreneurs can realise their ambitions and their business success can help make recovery local in every part of the country. This competition being run by the new network of Local Enterprise Offices can give a young individual or business a real injection of capital and expertise to take their ideas to the next level. The vast majority of the 1,200 jobs created each week last year were in small, local companies so it is obvious there is real potential to grow further jobs by supporting local entrepreneurs. This latest Action Plan for Jobs project is another Government measure to do just that."

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD said: “Central to our plans for jobs and growth is supporting more businesses to start-up. Two thirds of all new jobs are created by start-ups, so if we are to create the jobs we need we must support more entrepreneurs to start new businesses. That is why we put in place the entrepreneurship forum chaired by Sean O’Sullivan and that is why we established the Local Enterprise Offices to provide more and better Government supports to businesses in one easily-accessible place at local level.

“Part of this plan is also fostering a stronger culture of entrepreneurship and promoting start-up business as a career option for young people. That is what is behind this new competition to find the best young entrepreneur in every county in Ireland also ultimately Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur. We have excellent start-ups and entrepreneurs in Ireland – we just don’t have enough of them. I urge young people in every part of the country who is considering starting a business, or who might have a business idea – get involved, pitch your idea, take advantage of the mentoring and the supports, and maybe you will be Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur in 2014”.

For further information contact:

Press Office, DJEI, Tel: 01 631 2200, email:


What is it?

Open to everyone with an innovative business idea

· individuals

· venture teams

· partnerships

· existing businesses with a new idea

· people overseas (including Irish emigrants) who will headquarter in Ireland

We are looking for Ireland's best young entrepreneurs.

If you are aged 30 and under, with an outstanding idea/commercial venture for a start-up or existing business then you should enter the IBYE Competition. Almost any young person with a business idea can enter this competition. It doesn’t matter what your background is. Maybe you have been to University and researched a business idea, maybe you have always wanted to be your own boss, maybe you want to work for yourself, maybe you have an idea to improve your existing business or maybe you want to return home and set up your business in Ireland?

It doesn’t matter what you want to do all that matters is you have a good business idea that works.

The IBYE competition is a national competition to find Ireland’s best young entrepreneur.

Applying is simple and there is a €2 million investment fund and targeted business supports on offer to help you turn your business idea into a reality.

The competition is broken down into 3 categories

1. Best New Idea

2. Best Start up Business

3. Best Established Business with new add on

Each Local Enterprise Office will run a competition aimed at finding winners in each of the three categories as well as an overall winner in each county – Sligo’s Best Young Entrepreneur, Westmeath’s Best Young Entrepreneur, Fingal’s Best Young Entrepreneur etc. Each LEO will have a total fund of €50,000 to invest in the three winning businesses according to criteria including businesses’ investment needs – overall county winners will be eligible for an investment of up to €25,000.

The competition will then proceed to regional finals with winners identified in each category in Dublin, Mid-East, Midlands, South East, South West, Mid West, West and Border regions.

These 24 businesses will then proceed to national finals to be held before the end of the year. Again there will be winners identified for each category as well as an overall winner who will be crowned Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur. There will be a total fund of €100,000 available for investment in the three winning businesses at the national finals, with the overall winner eligible for an investment of up to €50,000. Investment decisions will be made depending on business prospects and investment needs of the winning businesses.

Who can apply?

Before you are prepared to submit here are some criteria that you need to check out

1. Age 30 years and under (at 31st December 2014).

2. Original and innovative idea, start-up or existing business add on.

3. Applicants must own,control and manage their business Intellectual Property.

4. Not for profit and social entrepreneurship applicants must operate in a commercial domain.

5. You must be eligible to own, manage and operate a business in Ireland at the time of application.

6. Applicants from overseas who are eligible to operate a business in Ireland are encouraged to apply.

7. You must submit a preliminary application online or via your local enterprise office by the closing date of the 30th June 2014.

8. One project submission per applicant is allowed.

9. Existing businesses that wish to apply must be promoted by a young entrepreneur (30 years of age and under) and must have a new plan to further develop the business.

10. If you are under the age of 18 at the 31st of December 2014 we will require parental consent in order for you to participate in the competition.