Three young Westmeath entrepreneurs are to fly the flag for the county at the regional finals of the inaugural Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur competition, which is offering an investment prize fund of €2 million.
All under the age of 30, the local business owners are going head-to-head with other winners from Kildare, Laois, and Offaly on Friday November 7 for a chance to win a place at the national final in Dublin this December.
The Westmeath winners who have been selected to represent the county at the regional finals are Rebecca Butler from Streete, Brian Kelly of BK Leisure, Athlone, and Dean Gammell of DG Ventures Ltd, Kinnegad.
Rebecca Butler is winner of the Best New Idea award, with a prize fund of €10,000, for her entry on creating an alternative animal feed product using Hydroponics, a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions in water without soil.
The Best Start Up Business less than 18 months in operation, with a prize fund of €20,000, went to Brian Kelly of BK Leisure, which offers repair, certificaton, manufacturing, and sales of inflatable and indoor play equipment.
Dean Gammel of DG Ventures won the Best Established Business category with a prize fund of €20,000. The business develops software to facilitate group bookings in the hotel and leisure industries.
The regional final on November 7 takes place in Aras an Chontae, Mullingar. Head of enterprise with the Westmeath Local Enterprise Office, Christine Charlton said: “Our winners are proudly flying the flag for the county, competing against other young entrepreneurs in the region for a place at the prestigious national final”.
Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur competition is an integral part of the Action Plan for Jobs 2014 and is supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through the 31 Local Enterprise Offices around the country.