New €2million National Competition to find Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur
The Taoiseach and the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation recently 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.
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 localenterprise.ie or your Local Enterprise Office – and the deadline is 30th June 2014.