Three young Clare entrepreneurs are flying the flag for the county at the regional final of the inaugural ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ competition, which is offering an investment prize-fund of €2 million.
All under the age of 30, the local business owners and new start-ups are going head-to-head with other winners from Kerry, Limerick and Tipperary tomorrow (Wednesday) for a chance to win a place at the national final in Dublin this December, in a competition co-ordinated by the Local Enterprise Office Clare.
Launched by the Government earlier this year, Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) competition is a core part of the Action Plan for Jobs 2014, and is supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through the 31 Local Enterprise Offices around the country.
The Clare winners, who have been selected to represent the county at the regional finals, are Regina Tierney from Brigid’s Mantle (Clare Best Young Entrepreneur and Best Start Up Business Category Winner); Eric Gargiulo from The Delivery Guys (Best Established Business With New Add On) and Stephen Markham from hApp.ie (Best New Idea).
The three category winners from Wednesday’s Regional Final will progress to the national stage of the competition, which concludes with an awards ceremony on 6^th December.
Ms. Betty Devanny, Senior Enterprise Development Officer, LEO Clare, said: “Our winners are proudly flying the flag for the county, competing against other young entrepreneurs in the region for a place at the prestigious national final. But the benefits of entering the competition don’t end there. Throughout Ireland, over 400 finalists have already benefitted from intensive business bootcamps and mentoring programmes at local level, so the impact of the IBYE programme will be seen for many years to come.”
Next Wednesday’s regional final takes place in The Castletroy Park Hotel from 6.30pm to 9.00pm and the Mayors and Cathaoirligh of all participating local authorities wilkl be in attendance along with representatives of the business community.
The awards host will be Cathy Halloran, RTE Mid West Correspondent and the event will feature a presentation by Paul Collins of Design Pro Ltd., National Enterprise Award Winner 2013.