Three local business owners and new start-ups from Clare, all under the age of 30, have gone head-to-head with other winners from Kerry, Limerick and Tipperary at the regional final of ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ competition.
Although none of the Clare finalists made it through to next month’s national final, they will share a €50,000 investment fund through the Local Enterprise Office Clare, from the county final stage of the competition.
Clare was represented at last night’s regional final ceremony by Regina Tierney from Brigid’s Mantle (Clare Best Young Entrepreneur and Best Start Up Business Category Winner); Eric Gargiulo from The Delivery Guys (Best Established Business With New Add On); and Stephen Markham from hApp.ie (Best New Idea).
Clare’s nominees were all interviewed by a three member judging panel and had to deliver a business pitch, live. Assessed on criteria such as business innovation, job creation potential and financial planning, the announcement of the national finalists was made at the awards ceremony in the Castletroy Park Hotel.
The Regional Final category winners are Philip Martin of Clonmel-based Blanco Nino (Best New Idea), Tom Ryan of Nenagh-based Adsmart & TownSmart (Best Established Business with New Add On) and Paddy Finn of Limerick-based Electricity Exchange (Best Start Up).
Launched by the Government earlier this year, Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) competition is a core part of the Action Plan for Jobs 2014, and is supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through the 31 Local Enterprise Offices around the country.
Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton T.D. said: “Central to our plans for jobs and growth is supporting more businesses to start-up. 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 the region also ultimately Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur.”
Importantly, over 400 business owners and start-ups from around the country have benefited from intensive business bootcamps and mentoring programmes at local level, as part of the competition.
Ms. Betty Devanny, Senior Enterprise Development Officer, LEO Clare, said: “We are very proud and honoured to have had such strong contenders in this competition, especially when you consider that over 1,000 small business owners entered this year. I’d like to congratulate all our nominees and entrants, who ‘flew the flag’ for Clare at the county and regional finals and we look forward to supporting their businesses into the future.”
In all, eight regional finals are taking place during November:
– Carlow, Wicklow, Wexford and Kilkenny
– Dublin City, Fingal, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown, Dublin South
– Kildare, Laois, Offaly and Westmeath
– Louth, Meath, Cavan and Monaghan
– Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim and Longford
– Galway, Mayo and Roscommon
– Clare, Limerick, Kerry and Tipperary
– Cork City, South Cork, Cork North and West and Waterford
For all the latest news and updates about the ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ competition, visit www.ibye.ie, www.localenterprise.ie or search #ibye on social media.