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€50,000 investment fund for Leitrim winners

Search for Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneurs gets underway

Observer Staff

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€50,000 investment fund for Leitrim winners

National search for Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneurs of 2018 is underway.

The search has begun for Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur with Leitrim Local Enterprise Office confirming that a €50,000 county investment fund on offer to local winners and runners-up in Leitrim.

IBYE is a programme run by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs), including LEO Leitrim with the support of the Department of Enterprise and Innovation and Enterprise Ireland.

The competition is open to people between the ages of 18 and 35 with an innovative business idea, new start-up or established business. Now in its 4th year, IBYE has an investment fund of up to €2 million.

The closing date to enter this year’s competition is Friday, September, 29, 2017.

Joe Lowe, Head of Enterprise, Local Enterprise Office Leitrim, said, "The substantial investments available under IBYE are a very important part of the programme and will help more young entrepreneurs here locally to grow their businesses and create more jobs.

"Other business supports, such as management training, networking and one-to-one mentoring are also at the heart of IBYE. Last year, 450 young entrepreneurs all over the country benefitted from these business supports and 180 of them won investment funding to help start and grow their own businesses, so the rewards are there for participants, as well as for the winners.

IBYE is run locally by Local Enterprise Office Leitrim across three categories: Best Business Idea, Best Start-Up Business and Best Established Business. Up to 450 young entrepreneurs will be invited by the LEOs to attend free regional ‘Entrepreneur Bootcamps’ later in the year to help them develop their business and new venture ideas.

With an IBYE investment fund of €50,000, LEO Leitrim 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 at county level will progress to Regional Finals early next year and the national IBYE finals will be held in March 2018.

Previous county winners and runners-up of #IBYE have included Michelle Fanning, Assorted Fitness, Lorcan Kearns, Wild Atlantic Crusades, Aoife McNiffe,  Edwina Guckian, Jennifer Wrynne, Richard Wilson Wilson Machinery, Niall Kiernan Global Green Consultancy.