Kilkenny entrepreneurs put through their paces

Kilkenny entrepreneurs put through their paces

As part of the nationwide search to find ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’, the Local Enterprise Office launched a campaign in August to find the best young entrepreneurs in County Kilkenny in three distinct categories, with a €50,000 investment fund up for grabs.

Last week, 20 young entrepreneurs, shortlisted from almost 30 applicants, came together for an intensive business boot camp, in association with LEO Carlow.

The boot camp was designed to help participants to develop the skills required to take their entrepreneurial ideas and businesses to the next level. From the concept stage to reality, and building a viable business plan to commercialising their business, the boot camp covered areas including business strategy, financial planning and sources of finance, targets and performance measurement as well as investor proposals.

third year

This is the third year of the competition, which was open to individuals aged 18 to 30, and sees each of the three LEOs having a total fund of €50,000 to invest in the three winning businesses, under the following categories: Best idea (not yet trading)Best start-up, Best established business.

Each of the young entrepreneurs who attended the boot camp will present their business plan and pitch to a judging panel in their region in the coming weeks to vie for a share of the investment fund available from thee LEO.

The county-based stage of the competition will culminate with the naming of the three ‘Best Young Entrepreneurs’ in Kilkenny which will be held in Council Chamber on 19th December 2016.

Speaking at the boot camp, Fiona Deegan, Head of Enterprise (Acting), Local Enterprise Office Kilkenny said “We are delighted with the response we received for the 2016 search for Kilkenny’s best young entrepreneurs. Now in its second year, the competition has once again unearthed a wealth of young entrepreneurs in the region who we need to nurture and support. The aim of this initiative is to encourage and support a culture of entrep-reneurship among young people in Kilkenny, to promote entrepreneurship as a career choice, and to encourage the establishment and development of new innovative businesses. 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, and therefore more start-ups and a thriving entrepreneurial culture will lead to more jobs being created.”

Ms. Deegan continued to say “These brave young men and women have decided to take that next step to make their business a success. The business boot camp offers the shortlisted applicants the opportunity to hone in on their business idea, and focus on what is necessary to make them successful.

For further information Visit www.ibye.ie for more information on ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’.