Garry Lowe, Whizz Kids Training, Anthony Coleman, Assistant Head of Enterprise Limerick, Bernie Moloney, Senior Enterprise Development Officer, Mark Sheahan, Recycle Right in Kilmallock, Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government, Mr. Alan Kelly, T.D., Cllr Gerald Mitchell, Deputy Mayor of Limerick City & County Council, Liam Conneally, Acting Director of Services of Limerick City & County Council.
A 29-year-old entrepreneur from Grange, Co. Limerick has won a place at the national final of Irelands Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) competition, for a chance to share a €100,000 investment fund.
Mark Sheahan of Recycle Right is representing the Region in the ‘Best Established Business’ category at the national final in Dublin in December and has already won €20,000 in investment from the Local Enterprise Office Limerick after being named winner of the same category last month.
Mark’s domestic Waste Collection & Recycling service currently has in excess of 5,000 customers, 9 staff and is one of the fastest growing collection companies in Ireland.
At the IBYE Regional Final, three local business owners and new start-ups from Limerick, all under the age of 30, went head-to-head with other county winners from Clare, Kerry and Tipperary. The nominees were interviewed by a three-member judging panel and had to deliver a business pitch. Assessed on criteria such as business innovation, job creation potential and financial planning, the announcement of the national finalists was made at a reception last night (Monday, 2 November 2015) at the Abbeycourt Hotel in Nenagh.
Christopher Kelly (18, Clarina) of Talamh and Kieran Normoyle (25, Patrickswell) of Deviate Aspire – the two other category winners in the Limerick stage of the competition – were joined at the Regional Final ceremony by Cllr. Gerald Mitchell (Deputy Mayor of the City and County of Limerick) and representatives of Limerick City and County Council and Local Enterprise Office Limerick.
Congratulating the finalists, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton T.D. said: “Central to our plans for jobs and growth is supporting more businesses to start-up. Part of this plan is also fostering a stronger culture of entrepreneurship and promoting start-up business as a career option for young people. That is what is behind this competition to find the best young entrepreneur in each region, and ultimately Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur. I am delighted to congratulate all involved.”
Mark Sheahan now faces tough competition from 23 other finalists, emerging from eight regional finals. The €100,000 investment fund in December is divided up across four prizes, namely Best New Idea (€20,000 investment); Best Start Up (€30,000 investment); Best Established Business (€30,000 investment); and overall winner of ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ (an additional €20,000 investment).
The Grange businessman is one of more than 400 business owners and start-ups from around the country to have already benefitted from intensive business bootcamps and mentoring programmes through the network of Local Enterprise Offices, as part of the competition.
In all, eight regional finals are taking place during October and November:
– Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim and Longford
– Wicklow, Wexford, Carlow and Kilkenny
– Cork City, Cork South, Cork North and West and Waterford
– Galway, Mayo and Roscommon
– Clare, Limerick, Kerry and Tipperary
– Louth, Meath, Cavan and Monaghan
– Dublin City, Fingal, South Dublin and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown
– Kildare, Laois, Offaly and Westmeath
News, results and updates for ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ competition, is available through the IBYE website and the local enterprise website, both below, and by searching #IBYE on social media.
Visit the IBYE website here
Visit the Local Enterprise website here
Read about Limerick business here