Limerick’s entrepreneurs are being encouraged to enter the search for Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneurs (IBYE) 2019 and win a share of a €2 million investment fund and business supports as part of the competition.
Now in its 5th year, IBYE is open to people between the ages of 18 and 35 with an innovative business idea, new start-up or established business.
IBYE is Ireland’s most successful programme to celebrate Ireland’s young entrepreneurs, developed by the Local Enterprise Offices and is run locally by LEO Limerick with the support of Limerick City and County Council, the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and Enterprise Ireland.
The closing date to enter this year’s competition is Friday 15 March 2019. Entering is simple, with an online application system through the IBYE website.
LEO Limerick staff are on hand if assistance is required in completing the application form.
At the National Finals last year, Limerick's Dr Paddy Finn of Electricity Exchange was the overall runner up in Best Established Business category while Padraic Hayes reached the finals in the Best Business Idea category.
Eamon Ryan, Head of Enterprise with LEO Limerick said: “Taking part will help Limerick’s young entrepreneurs move their businesses to the next level with the support of their Local Enterprise Office, whatever stage their business is at. Other business supports, such as management training, networking and one-to-one mentoring are also at the heart of IBYE - so there is something for all young entrepreneurs, available right on their doorsteps through the LEO Limerick office.”
Heather Humphreys, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation said: “We are so proud of our talented, creative and innovative young entrepreneurs and IBYE 2019 is the perfect way to acknowledge and celebrate them, as they are vital to the future of our economy. I urge all young entrepreneurs to call their local LEO today or log on to the IBYE website to learn about the competition and also to find out first-hand how the dedicated teams in the LEO offices around the country can help them make it happen for their businesses.”
Pat Breen, Junior Minister at the Department said: “I have had the privilege over the past number of years of meeting many of these young entrepreneurs who have taken part in IBYE and have seen first-hand the difference it has made to their businesses. The initiative not only provides vital investment funding, but also a wide range of practical supports, all of which are available locally through our network of LEO offices. Echoing Minister Humphreys’ comments, I would encourage all young people with a business idea or currently running a business to apply for IBYE before the deadline of the 15th March 2019.”
Martin Corry of Enterprise Ireland said: “A trend amongst Irish entrepreneurs and those who have succeeded in IBYE is their ability to think beyond these shores. The entrepreneurship culture in Ireland is strong and that is reflected in the previous winners we have had across the years, many of whom have had global ambition. This year again we ask that our entrepreneurs think big and aspire to grow and the IBYE process will only serve to better prepare them and their businesses for the challenges ahead.”
Conn Murray Chief Executive of Limerick City and County Council added: “The key to success to date has been that IBYE starts at local level and our young entrepreneurs then have the opportunity to go forward to regional and ultimately national awards, proudly representing their region. Through the network of 31 LEO Offices, the Local Authorities are very focused on supporting young entrepreneurs, ensuring that at grassroots level, any young person with a business idea is given every support and encouragement to start and grow their business, whatever stage their business is at. They are the future of our local economies, creating new businesses and providing vital sustainable local jobs in our communities.”
IBYE is a nationwide competition, run across three categories:
- Best Business Idea
- Best Start-Up Business
- Best Established Business
As part of the IBYE process, up to 450 young entrepreneurs will be invited by the LEOs to attend free regional ‘Entrepreneur Bootcamps’ to help them develop their businesses and new venture ideas.
With an IBYE investment fund of €50,000 each, LEO Limerick will award up to six investments to three category winners and three runners-up at county level. The local winners in the Best Start-Up and Best Established Business categories at county level will receive investments of up to €15,000 each and the two runners-up will each receive up to €5,000.
The Best Business Idea winner at county level will receive an investment of up to €7,000 and the runner-up will receive up to €3,000 of investment. These winners in Limerick will progress to Regional Finals during the summer with the national IBYE finals taking place on 15 September 2019.
To enter, young entrepreneurs in Limerick between the ages of 18 and 35 should visit www.ibye.ie/submit-form to submit their applications online. The closing date for entries is Friday 15 March 2019 and there are no entry fees.