Three locals in Regional Finals of Ireland's Best Young Entrepreneur competition

Pat Somers

Reporter:

Pat Somers

Email:

pat@leinsterexpress.ie

Three locals in Regional Finals of Ireland's Best Young Entrepreneur competition

Pat Somers pat@leinsterexpress.ie @laoisnews

Three young local entrepreneurs will go head-to-head with entrepreneurs from Kildare, Offaly and Westmeath at the Regional Final of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) competition, which takes place next Wednesday, February 1 at the Heritage Hotel in Portlaoise.

The Laois Local Enterprise Office will be represented at this year’s Regional Final by:

Francis Cosgrave of Sonrimor Ltd (Best Business Idea Category).

Alan Meredith of Alan Meredith Studio (Best Start-Up Business Category).

Kelly Ging of Kelly Lou Cakes (Best Established Business Category).

On the day, three finalists will be selected by the judging panel to compete at the IBYE National Final in March, one from each competition category.

So far, 180 talented entrepreneurs across every county in Ireland, aged between 18 and 35, have been awarded a total of €1.5 million in investment funding through the Local Enterprise Offices, after winning or becoming runners-up in IBYE County Finals.

This initiative for young entrepreneurs is run by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) nationwide, and supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and Enterprise Ireland.

The investment awards will be used by the young entrepreneurs to help fund business start-ups, create new jobs locally or to help develop new products for international markets.

As part of the supports on offer through the competition, more than 400 young entrepreneurs around the country benefited from boot-camp training sessions in which they were put through their paces in every aspect of how to start and develop a business.

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Ms. Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D, said: “This competition highlights that Ireland’s entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well.”