Wexford’s best young entrepreneurs were announced on Friday last 24 Nov at the County Final of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) competition. Run by the Local Enterprise Offices, IBYE is supported by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and Enterprise Ireland. Now in its 4th year, this year’s competition attracted almost 1,500 applications nationwide.
Tom Banville, Head of Enterprise in Wexford explained: “The search to find Wexford’s (and Ireland’s) best young entrepreneur started back in August and we were delighted with the calibre of entries. After a very successful Enterprise Day, Bootcamp and County Final, I’m pleased to confirm that the future of enterprise and job creation in County Wexford is bright.”
There was joy for Richard Malone, aged 27, Fashion Designer, located in Wexford as he was named winner of the Best Established Business award. Richard was joined by Caroline Martin, aged 26 of Wedding Creations in Tomhaggard, who took the runner up title in this category.
The Best Start Up category was a particularly hard-fought contest. Brian Kenny, aged 21 of MyShowAdvisor in Enniscorthy was named winner while Robert Tierney, aged 29 of Boom Media in Gorey was named runner-up.
Many innovative new business concepts emerged in the Best Business Idea category. The winner was Robert Byrne, aged 20 of ConnectJobs.com in Enniscorthy while Sandra Martin, aged 34 of Bosca Spraoi in Wexford scooped the runner up title.
Brian Kenny of MyShowAdvisor was named the Overall Winner of IBYE for County Wexford.
The adjudicators in this year’s competition were Don Arthur, Business Mentor with Micro-Finace Ireland, Helena Dempsey of Wexford Local Development and John O’Connor of Enniscorthy Enterprise Centre and The Hatch Lab. The awards ceremony was attended by other special guests including Minister Paul Kehoe.
IBYE Co-ordinator for County Wexford, Breege Cosgrave concluded “Each of the winners and runners-up will share in an investment fund of up to €50,000 from the Local Enterprise Office to help grow and develop their business. The 3 category winners go forward to the Regional Finals in January. The team in Wexford County Council’s Local Enterprise Office will be providing intensive supports between now and then to prepare them for the regionals and hopefully Wexford will have a representative at the IBYE National Finals in March.”