Three young Limerick entrepreneurs are flying the flag for the county at the regional final 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 and new start-ups are going head-to-head with other winners from Clare, Kerry and Tipperary this coming Wednesday (12th November) for a chance to win a place at the national final in Dublin this December, in a competition co-ordinated by the Local Enterprise Office Limerick.
Launched by the Government earlier this year, Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) competition is a core 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.
The Limerick winners, who have been selected to represent the county at the regional finals, are:
- Paddy Finn from Electricity Exchange (Limerick Best Young Entrepreneur and Best Start Up Business Category Winner)
- Aisling Maher from Aisling Maher Fashion Designs (Best Established Business With New Add On)
- Aislinn O’Flynn from Sensomi (Best New Idea)
The three category winners from Wednesday’s Regional Final will progress to the national stage of the competition, which concludes with an awards ceremony on 6th December.
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 new competition to find the best young entrepreneur in the region also ultimately Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur.”
Head of Enterprise with the Local Enterprise Office Limerick, Eamon Ryan 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. But the benefits of entering the competition don’t end there. Throughout Ireland, over 400 finalists have already benefitted from intensive business bootcamps and mentoring programmes at local level, so the impact of the IBYE programme will be seen for many years to come.”
Next Wednesday’s regional final takes place in The Castletroy Park Hotel from 6.30pm to 9.00pm and the Mayors and Cathaoirligh of all participating local authorities are being invited to attend, along with representatives of the business community. The awards host will be Cathy Halloran, RTE Mid West Correspondent and the event will feature a presentation by Paul Collins of Design Pro Ltd., National Enterprise Award Winner 2013.
Paddy Finn, Electricity Exchange – Electricity Exchange is a new entrant into Ireland’s electricity market, aggregating large industrial electricity consumers that have the ability to reduce their power consumption at short notice. When called upon Eirgrid to reduce consumption on the grid, Electricity Exchange remotely operates generators to achieve the required reduction.
Aisling Maher, Aisling Maher Fashion Designs – Milliner, fashion accessories, design and and ladies boutique. Located on Main Street, Adare, Aisling designs and creates beautiful pieces. Aisling has won many awards for work and has been the subject of much media coverage. Her pieces are available across Europe and in the US in selected stores.
Aislinn O’Flynn, Sensomi – Sensomi is a sensory discovery box. An educational/therapeutic product which encourages children through play to actively engage with their senses while developing skills such cognitive language and communication, social and motor skills etc. Designed to create inclusion opportunities for children with special needs.
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