Young local entrepreneurs can vie for LEO's €150k prize fund

October 5th, 2016 11:55 AM

By Southern Star Team

Patrick Corrigan, founder of Musica, and the 2015 IBYE Cork winner, launches the Best Young Entrepreneur award. (Photo: Cathal Noonan)

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A TOTAL of €150,000 is ‘up for grabs’ thanks to the three Local Enterprise Offices (LEO) in Cork who have just launched their Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) competition. 

The competition has been extended to those aged between 18 and 35, with an innovative and original idea or concept for a product or service that is either at start-up or early development stage.

The three LEOs in Cork – LEO Cork City, LEO South Cork, and LEO Cork North and West – are each running the competition, looking for entrepreneurs who stand out from the crowd, and entries are invited up until Friday, October 14th. 

There are three categories which comprise ‘Best New Idea’, with a top prize of €7,000 and a runner-up prize of €3,000; ‘Best Start Up Business’ (up to 36 months); and ‘Best Established Business’, that each have €15,000 in prize money for winners and €5,000 each for the runners-up, in each of the three LEO areas. 

Now in its third year, the IBYE competition in Cork has unearthed a wealth of young entrepreneurs, who their respective LEOs work with to nurture and support. The €50,000 investment fund from each LEO is among the ways in which the enterprise office helps to encourage and assist young people to realise their dream of owning and developing their own business.

A total of 15 finalists will be selected from each LEO in Cork, with the 45 finalists then going forward to participate in an intensive Business Boot Camp that will be held in Cork from November 4th to 6th. This is seen as an invaluable opportunity for participants as they will receive mentoring and supports from experts to help them to fine-tune their business strategies and enterprise skills.

The second phase of the competition will see the selection at a county final in December of three winners per LEO, who will go forward to represent their LEO in regional finals. If successful there, they will represent Cork flag at the national finals to find ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ – which has an overall investment fund of €2m – in early 2017.

The competition, which has a simple online application form available on, aims to encourage and support a culture of entrepreneurship among young people, to promote entrepreneurship as a career choice, and to encourage the establishment and development of new and innovative businesses by Ireland’s young entrepreneurs.

Last year’s Cork North & West winners were Maeve O’Keeffe, Inspect 4;  Stephen Murphy, Ride-On, and Aimie Musgrave, Crunch. This project is an integral part of the Action Plan for Jobs 2014 and is supported by the Dept of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. The closing date is Friday, October 14th. For more, call (023) 8834700 or visit, and follow the campaign on Facebook and Twitter using #StandOut.

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