Are you Waterford’s Best Young Entrepreneur?

L-R; Vincent Reynolds, Chairman of Local Enterprise Office, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Minister Richard Bruton for Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation,  & Minister John Perry for Small Business

New competition launched to find Waterford’s Best Young Entrepreneur (Under 30) with investment of up to €25,000 available for winner.

Winners in Waterford will proceed to regional and national finals with aim of finding Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur

The Taoiseach and the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation launched a new competition to find Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur, with a total fund of €2million available to invest in winning businesses at entrepreneurs in every county in the country.

In Waterfordthe competition to find Waterford’s Best Young Entrepreneur will be run by the new Local Enterprise Office. Winners will be named in three categories – best new idea, best start-up, best new venture for established business – as well as an overall winner who will be Waterford’s Best Young Entrepreneur.

The WaterfordLocal Enterprise Office will have a total fund of €50,000 to invest in the three winning businesses, according to criteria including the prospects and investment needs of each business. The overall winner of Waterford’s Best Young Entrepreneur can receive an investment of up to €25,000.

Mentoring, marketing and other supports will also be available to participating businesses at various stages of the competition. 

Lar Power, Director of Economic Development, Waterford City and County Council believes this initiative is particularly important to Waterford, “Following the success of Waterford in the National Student Enterprise Awards this year I am looking forward to seeing what ‘under 30’ sector entrepreneurs in the City and County enter this competition. Waterford’s small business enterprises in particular require as much assistance as they can get and the new Local Enterprise Office in Waterford is fully prepared to help these young and innovative future entrepreneurs make their ideas turn into a commercial reality.”

Ciaran Cullen of the Local Enterprise Office complimented the scale of the competition, “This size of investment for these young start-up businesses is a significant statement of intent. The investment is more than just monetary, the boot camps, mentoring and national exposure will give the best of these entries the boost they require at this stage of their development.”

The competition is open to individuals aged 30 and under and will be judged under three distinct categories:

  • ·         best new idea
  • ·         best start-up business
  • ·         best established business with new add-on

The first stage will be a county-based competition (run by the 31 LEOs) leading to the naming of the Best Young Entrepreneur in each county. This stage will include boot camps and mentoring programmes. This will be followed by regional finals and ultimately national finals with one business-person being crowned Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur before the end of the year.

There have been expressions of interest from television production companies on the possibility of covering the later stages of the competition in a reality TV format.

The aim of the initiative is to encourage and support a culture of entrepreneurship among young people in Ireland, to promote entrepreneurship as a career choice, and to encourage the establishment and development of new innovative businesses by Ireland’s young entrepreneurs. 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 – more start-ups and a thriving entrepreneurial culture will lead to more jobs being created.

This project is an integral part of the Action Plan for Jobs 2014 and is supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through the Local Enterprise Offices.

Applying is simple – go to or your Local Enterprise Office in Waterford City or Dungarvan – and the deadline is 30th June 2014.