Monday 20 January 2020

Investment fund available for young entrepreneurs

Tom Banville, Head of Enterprise at Wexford County Council.
Tom Banville, Head of Enterprise at Wexford County Council.

Brendan Keane

Wexford County Council has launched a €50,000 Investment fund for Young Entrepreneurs competition to find the best young entrepreneur in the county.

In launching the initiative Head of Enterprise, Tom Banville, said: 'We're looking for dynamic, innovative young business people to enter Ireland's Best Young Entrepreneur 2019 competition in Wexford.'

Mr Banville said someone from Wexford could make it all the way through to the national final in September.

The competition is being hosted by Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) all around the country and is being organised in conjunction with the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Enterprise Ireland and the Local Authorities of Ireland.

Those aged between 18 and 35 who have a business idea, a start-up, or who are already established in business are eligible to enter.

Mr Banville said the application process is 'quick and simple' and takes about 15 minutes to complete.

Entry is also free-of-charge and is done through the website

Applicants will be invited to participate in an enterprise day hosted by Wexford LEO and after that shortlisted applicants will participate in business boot camps before they compete in the county final.

There will be a €50,000 investment fund that will be shared between the winners of three different categories: Best Business Idea; Best Start-up; and Best Established Business.

The county winners will go forward to the regional finals of the competition from which qualification to the national final will take place.

However, Mr Banville said it's not all about winning the entire competition and that local applicants have a lot to gain just from entering.

'We know from speaking with past participants that the real value for them is in being part of the process,' said Mr Banville.

'Taking part challenges young business people to stop and really focus on where their business is now and where they can take it,' he added.

He emphasised that the business-planning, mentoring, advice and support that entrants receive during the competition process is very important and beneficial.

He said the competition helps the applicants build a network of fellow entrepreneurs.

'They often become trusted friends and advisors to each other,' he said.

He said participation in the competition is often the first experience some of the entrants have of getting media exposure which will help them build a profile.

'Ireland's Best Young Entrepreneurs is one of the headline events hosted by Wexford's Local Enterprise Office - the first port of call for anyone in business thinking of starting a business,' said Mr Banville.

He also said through hosting the competition each year the Wexford LEO is able to connect with young local entrepreneurs and highlight to them the services and supports available to them.

The closing date for applying is Friday, March 15.

Wexford People

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