Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur: €2 million investment fund for entrepreneurs aged 18-35

There are over 80 different government supports available to small businesses but many of them are not well known or understood. Each week in the SFA e-zine, we will profile a different support that could improve your business, giving you information and advice.

Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE)


Competitive awards programme for entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 35, with support available to entrants through training, mentoring and a €2 million investment fund.

There are three categories:

  • Best Business Idea (pre-trading at time of application)
  • Best Start-Up Business (up to 18 months)
  • Best Established Business (over 18 months)


The aim of the programme is to highlight the achievements of young entrepreneurs and to stimulate more entrepreneurial activity amongst young people.

The programme is also used to demonstrate that there is help available to young people who want to start their own businesses.


Entries can be made online at The closing date is 29 September 2017.

Selected applicants will be invited to regional ‘Entrepreneur Bootcamps’ in November.

Each Local Enterprise Office chooses a category winner and runner-up in each of the three categories. The winners at county level will progress to the eight regional finals in early 2018. The regional winners in each category will compete in the national final in March 2018, with one of the category winners also being named Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur.

The assessment criteria are:

  • Promoter/s: 25 Marks
  • Market opportunity: 25 Marks
  • Ability to deliver key commercial milestones: 20 Marks
  • Innovation: 10 Marks
  • Potential to deliver economic impacts: 10 Marks
  • Quality of application & business plan: 10 Marks
  • Pitch & interview: 40 Marks
  • Total Marks: 140

Prize funding is available at different stages of the process:

  • County level: €50,000 prize fund available for the three category winners and three runners up
  • National level: €100,000 prize fund available for the three category winners


If you are interested in applying, don’t forget:

  • There is no entry fee for IBYE applicants.
  • Applicants must be 18 or over at the date of application and 35 or under on 31 December 2017.
  • The competition is open to people overseas who intend to headquarter their business in Ireland.
  • More information is available at or through your Local Enterprise Office
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In this issue
SFA E-Zine – The Tuesday Edition
Recent press coverage
Employer ordered to pay €34,000 due to flawed redundancy procedure
Minimum wage – deep divisions over proposed 30c increase
Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur: €2 million investment fund for entrepreneurs aged 18-35
National Competitiveness Council publishes Ireland’s Competitiveness Scorecard 2017
Skillnets Annual Report 2016
SFA Webinar - Government supports for small firms
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