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26/10/2016 - Irelands Best Young Entrepreneur competition

Ireland's Best Young Entrepreneur competition



32% rise in IBYE entries nationally welcomed by Minister Mitchell O’ Connor



Local Enterprise Office Donegal has announced that a record number of participants have entered the ‘IBYE’ competition this year, for a chance to share in a local investment fund of €50,000.



The 65 Donegal local entries, all aged between 18 and 35, are among the 1,842 entries from around the country competing this year.



The next stage in the €2 million investment fund competition is the business boot camps, which Local Enterprise Office Donegal is hosting in mid-November.

Boot camps play a major role in the IBYE competition, as participants benefit from business advice, mentoring and help with perfecting their business proposals and  enterprise pitches. The LEO-run boot camp has modules such as: business strategy and revenue models, performance measures, financial planning and sources of finance, designed to help more young entrepreneurs develop their business or business ideas.


When the boot camps come to an end, the next stage in the competition after judging is the county final, which will be held on November 30th in the Silver Tassie Hotel , Letterkenny. Local Enterprise Office Donegal has an investment fund of up to €50,000 to award to up to six young entrepreneurs in the area across three categories – Best Business Idea, Best Start-Up Business and Best Established Business. 


Now in its third year, interest in the competition is increasing every year. The total number of entries nationally was 1,842 this year, compared with 1,398 entries last year, which is up by 32%.



The significant rise in entries has been welcomed by Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D:



“Young entrepreneurs are the employers of the future. I am delighted to see that more young entrepreneurs than ever before have entered the IBYE competition this year. Through IBYE, I want to ensure that their innovation, vision and drive, results in successful businesses that will create new jobs in the economy, and in all regions. IBYE provides a fantastic opportunity for aspiring and established young entrepreneurs to compete for investment funding, avail of expert business advice and form invaluable peer networks in enterprise boot camps where experience and knowledge can be shared”. 


“The Local Enterprise Offices around the country are an excellent resource for anyone thinking of starting or growing their business.  I look forward to meeting these young entrepreneurs during the competition.” she added.



Michael Tunney, Head of Enterprise with the Local Enterprise Office in Donegal County Council said “the level of entries to IBYE this year nationally is the highest on record and reflects the potential that exists amongst younger age groups that needs to be nurtured. Our focus now is to select the young entrepreneur entrants who will go forward to the boot camps and in making the boot camp relevant to te participants and their businesses.  Everyone who participates in the IBYE boot camp will have access to expert business guidance, training and mentoring which will help them face and overcome the challenges in developing their business.”



Further details on the competition and supports available to young entrepreneurs are available through and from the IBYE website at


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