Local Enterprise Offices on the hunt for Cork’s Best Young Entrepreneurs, with €150k investment fund up for grabs

Local Enterprise Offices on the hunt for Cork’s Best Young Entrepreneurs, with €150k investment fund up for grabs

25 June 2014

Are you under 30? Do you have a business idea or existing business? Do you want to compete for a part of Cork’s €150,000 investment fund and be considered in the shake-up for Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur? If you answered ‘yes’ to these three questions, then your Local Enterprise Office in Cork wants to hear from you! The three Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) in Cork are each running a competition aimed at finding  the best young entrepreneurs in three categories, with an overall winner going forward to represent their LEO in regional finals, and if successful, flying the Cork flag at the national finals to find ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ later this year.  With the Cork region being heralded as the entrepreneur’s hub of Ireland, the overall winner could well be from Cork. 

A campaign to encourage all young entrepreneurs to ‘just do it’ and enter the competition has been launched, along with an online blog featuring some of Cork’s young entrepreneurs. Anyone interested can follow the campaign on twitter using the hashtag that has a hint of Cork in it - #justdoitlike.

The competition, which has a simple online application form, is open to individuals aged 30 and under, will be judged under three distinct categories:• best new idea• best start-up business• best established business with new add-on

Each of the three LEOs in Cork has a total fund of €50,000 to invest in the three winning businesses according to criteria including businesses’ investment needs and business prospects; with the overall county winners eligible for an investment of up to €20,000. Applications from Cork businesses and start-ups are invited before July 31st, 2014, with successful applicants progressing to ‘get fit for business’ through a business boot camp and mentoring support in association with the LEOs in Cork.

The Cork competition is part of a national competition launched recently by The Taoiseach and the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation to find Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur, with a total fund of €2million available nationally to invest in winning businesses and entrepreneurs.

The county-based stage of the competition will culminate with the naming of the three ‘Best Young Entrepreneurs’ in Cork, 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.

Sean O’Sullivan, Head of Enterprise, Local Enterprise Office South Cork says “The aim of this initiative is to encourage and support a culture of entrepreneurship among young people in Cork, to promote entrepreneurship as a career choice, and to encourage the establishment and development of new innovative businesses by Cork’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.”

Sean continued “Whether you are at the idea stage or if you are already trading, all that matters is that you have a good business idea that works. Applying online is simple and there is a €150k investment fund in Cork alone, with targeted business supports on offer to help you turn your business idea into a reality. As we would say in Cork – just do it, like!”

Apply before July 31st to get fit for business and become Cork’s Best Young Entrepreneur. For more information or to apply, call (021) 4975281 or visit www.ibye.ie.