Investment fund of €50,000 now available for young entrepreneurs in Westmeath

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise and Innovation, Frances Fitzgerald and Minister of State for Business, Pat Breen have launched the national search to find Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneurs of 2018 (IBYE ) through the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs ).

IBYE is a programme run by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices with the support of the Department of Enterprise and Innovation and Enterprise Ireland. The competition is open to people between the ages of 18 and 35 with an innovative business idea, new start-up, or established business. Now in its fourth year, IBYE has an investment fund of up to €2million and there is a €50,000 county investment fund on offer to local winners and runners-up in Westmeath.

Tracey Tallon of the Local Enterprise Office Westmeath said: “The substantial investments available under IBYE are a very important part of the programme and will help more young entrepreneurs here locally to grow their businesses and create more jobs. Other business supports, such as management training, networking and one-to-one mentoring are also at the heart of IBYE."

IBYE is run locally by LEO Westmeath across three categories: Best Business Idea, Best Start-Up Business, and Best Established Business. Up to 450 young entrepreneurs will be invited by the LEOs to attend free regional ‘Entrepreneur Bootcamps’ later in the year to help them develop their business and new venture ideas.

With an IBYE investment fund of €50,000, LEO Westmeath award up to six investments to three category winners and three runners-up at county level. The local winners in the Best Start-Up and Best Established Business categories at county level will receive investments of up to €15,000 each and the two runners-up will each receive up to €5,000.

The Best Business Idea winner at county level will receive an investment of up to €7,000 and the runner-up will receive up to €3,000 of investment. These winners at county level will progress to regional finals early next year and the national finals will be held in March 2018.

To submit an online application see www.ibye.ie The closing date for entries is Friday, September 29, and there are no entry fees.

Further information and details are also available from the 31 Local Enterprise Offices nationwide through www.localenterprise.ie

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