11 October 2016
By Tom Collins
Friday, October 14th is deadline day for submission of applications for Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) competition, where Cork’s best and brightest young business people will have the opportunity to scoop their share of the €150,000 investment fund from the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs).
This is the third year of the IBYE competition, and this year the age limit has been raised, and is open to anyone aged between 18 and 35 with an innovative and original idea or concept for a product or service that is either at start up or early development stage.
The Local Enterprise Offices Cork (LEOs) – LEO Cork City, LEO South Cork and LEO Cork North and West are each looking for entrepreneurs who “Stand Out” from the crowd to enter one of three categories. The ‘Best New Idea’ category has a top prize of €7,000 and a runner up prize of €3,000; while ‘Best Start Up Business’ (up to 36 months) and ‘Best Established Business’ categories each have €15,000 in prize money for winners and €5,000 each for the runners up, from each of the three LEOs.
15 finalists will be selected from each LEO in Cork, with the 45 finalists then going forward to participate in an intensive Business Boot Camp that will be held in Cork from November 4th to 6th. This is an invaluable opportunity for participants to receive mentoring and supports from experts to help them to fine tune their business strategies and enterprise skills.
The next phase of the competition will see the selection at a county final in December of three winners per LEO, who will go forward to represent their LEO in a regional final. If successful there, they will fly the Cork flag at national final in early 2017 to find ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’, which has an overall investment fund of €2 million.
The €50,000 investment fund from each LEO is just one of the ways in which they help to nurture and support young people to realise their dream of owning and developing their own business. Last year’s competition was a huge success with hundreds of entries; and Cork produced the overall winner of IBYE in James Foody, founder of Ayda, who won a further €50,000 investment at the national final.
The competition has a simple online application form available on www.ibye.ie. IBYE aims to encourage and support a culture of entrepreneurship among young people, to promote entrepreneurship as a career choice, and to encourage the establishment and development of new and innovative businesses by Ireland’s young entrepreneurs.
Adrienne Rodgers, Head of Enterprise, Local Enterprise Office Cork City said: “We are looking for young and aspiring entrepreneurs and business ideas that really stand out. If you have a business idea or existing business and are aged 18 – 35, be brave, take a chance and apply today, and don’t miss out on your chance to take your business to the next level.”
The closing date for IBYE applications is Friday, October 14th. Follow the campaign on Facebook and Twitter using #StandOut. For more information or to apply, call (021) 4961828 or visit www.ibye.ie.