Local Winner heading for ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ National Final

A young Dublin City entrepreneur has won a place at the national final of the prestigious ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ competition, for a chance to share a €100,000 investment fund.

Isolde Johnson from The Cool Bean Company based in Dublin City is representing the region in the Best Start Up  category at the national final in Dublin this December and has already won €20,000  in investment from the Local Enterprise Office  Dublin City

Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) competition is an integral part of the Action Plan for Jobs and is supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through the 31 Local Enterprise Offices around the country.

At the IBYE Regional Final, four  local business owners and new start-ups from Dublin,  all under the age of 30, went head-to-head with other county winners from Fingal, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown & South Dublin.

The nominees were all interviewed by a three member judging panel and had to deliver a business pitch, live. Assessed on criteria such as business innovation, job creation potential and financial planning, the announcement of the national finalists was made at a reception in the Conrad Hotel  with special guest Minister Richard Bruton T.D.  Other guests at the Regional Final included Mayor of Fingal Cllr. David O Connor, Mayor of South Dublin Cllr. Sarah Holland, Owen Keegan, Chief Executive Dublin City & Paul Reid, Chief Executive, Fingal, along with Greg Swift, Head of LEO Dublin City, Eibhlin Curley, Head of LEO Dun Laoghaire Rathdown, Oisin Geoghegan, Head of LEO Fingal & Colm Ward , Head of LEO South Dublin.

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.”

The local winner 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:

  • Best New Idea (€20,000 investment)
  • Best Start Up (€30,000 investment)
  • Best Established Business (€30,000 investment)
  • Overall Winner of ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ (an additional €20,000 investment)

More than 400 business owners and start-ups from around the country have already benefitted from intensive business bootcamps and mentoring programmes through the network of Local Enterprise Offices, as part of the competition.

The Head of Enterprise with the Local Enterprise Office Dublin City, Greg Swift  said: “We are proud and honoured to have a representative at the national final in December, as over 1,000 young entrepreneurs entered from every county in Ireland, with tough competition across each category. Our finalist now has a chance of being crowned ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ and to win additional investment of up to €50,000 for their business. We’d also like to congratulate all our other nominees and entrants, who ‘flew the flag’ for us at the county and regional finals and the Local Enterprise Office looks forward to supporting their businesses into the future.”

The three young entrepreneurs representing Dublin City at the Regional Final were:

  • Best Idea – John Horrigan, Cara Mobility Design
  • Best Start Up business – Isolde Johnson, The Cool Bean Company www.coolbeans.ie
  • Best Established Business – Jamie White, Youth Nation  www.youthnation.com

News, results and updates for ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ competition, is available through www.ibye.ie, www.localenterprise.ie and by searching #IBYE on social media.


Photos available on request.


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Notes to the Editor:
Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur 2015 (#IBYE)

Website: www.ibye.ie  

Social Media: #IBYE

Now in its second year, Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur is a competition that is open to everyone with an innovative business idea

  • individuals
  • venture teams
  • partnerships
  • existing businesses with a new idea
  • people overseas (including Irish emigrants) who will headquarter in Ireland

The competition is broken down into three categories:

  • Best New Idea (pre-trading), with €10,000 investment prize fund available through every LEO
  • Best Start up Business (up to 24 months), with €20,000 investment prize fund available through every LEO
  • Best Established Business  (over 24 months) with €20,000 investment prize fund available through every LEO

Each Local Enterprise Office (LEO) within the Local Authorities Network ran a competition from May to August 2015, aimed at finding winners in each of the three categories as well as an overall winner in each county. Each LEO has a total fund of €50,000 to invest in their three local winning businesses according to criteria including businesses’ investment needs.
Through eight regional finals in October and November 2015 (listed below), involving winners from each LEO, a total of 24 finalists will be selected by the various judging panels. All 24 finalists, eight per category, will win a place at the #IBYE national finals, to be held in December in Dublin.

Organised with the support of the Local Authorities Network, the full list of Regional Finals for Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur competition is as follows:

  • Monday October 19th: Finalists from LEOs in Wicklow, Wexford, Carlow and Kilkenny.
  • Tuesday October 27th: Finalists from LEOs in Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim and Longford.
  • Wednesday, October 28th:  Finalists from LEOs in Cork City, Cork South, Cork North and West and Waterford
  • Friday, October 30th: Finalists from LEOs in Galway, Mayo and Roscommon.
  • Monday, November 2nd: Finalists from LEOs in Clare, Limerick, Kerry and Tipperary.
  • Tuesday, November 3rd: Finalists from LEOs in Louth, Meath, Cavan and Monaghan.
  • Wednesday, November 4th: Finalists from LEOs in Dublin City, Fingal, South Dublin and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown.
  • Thursday November 5th: Finalists from LEOs in Kildare, Laois, Offaly and Westmeath.