"Shocked" was Kelly Lou Ging's first reaction when it was announced she was through to the National Final of Ireland's Best Young Entrepreneur competition this afternoon.
Kelly Lou was the winner in her category of Best Established Business for her well known Kelly Lou Cakes, based in Portlaoise.
She is the firsts Laois person to progress to the national final of the competition. "The work starts again now," she said as she began contemplating the national final, which will take place in March.
Her fellow county competitors - Francis Cosgrave of Sonrimor Ltd and Alan Meredith of Alan Meredith Studio featured in the Best Business Idea and Best Business Start-up categories respectively.
Kildare's Jenny Reynolds won in the Best Business Idea category for her app, topper.ie and Westmeath's James Sherlock in the Best Start-up