A BUNDORAN man is to take part in the national final of Ireland’s ‘Best Young Entrepreneur’ in Dublin on Sunday.
Niall McGonigle, from N-Tech, will represent the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) in Donegal at the event, which will be hosted by radio and television presenter, Claire Byrne.
The National Final comes at the end of an eight-month search, launched by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD., and Minister Richard Bruton TD., through the Local Enterprise Offices (LEO), to find Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur for 2015.
After a series of 31 LEO finals and eight regional finals involving 1,400 competitors, the 24 finalists, all aged between 18 and 30, will deliver their live pitches to the judging panel on Sunday.
Michael Tuney, Head of Enterprise, Seamus Neely, Chief Executive, Ciaran Brogan, An Cathaoirleach is expected to travel to Dublin to support the local finalist.
Supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices, the competition was designed to seek out and support entrepreneurial talent across the country.
Now in its second year, the competition was opened up this year to include young Irish entrepreneurs based abroad, looking to set up operations in Ireland.
Speaking ahead of the event, Minister Bruton said: “Having met all 24 National Finalists on a couple of occasions now, they are an inspiring group of young entrepreneurs. Their energy, commitment and, above all, their impressive businesses are providing a great example to many other businesses and young people who we are relying on to create the businesses that will be the bedrock of the Irish economy. Over two thirds of all new jobs are created by businesses like those created by these young entrepreneurs, and it’s been a pleasure to be involved in the development of their businesses.”
The support on offer to all young entrepreneurs were also highlighted by the Local Enterprise Offices in the Local Authorities Network.
Michael Tunney, Head of Enterprise of Local Enterprise Office Donegal, said: “The network of Local Enterprise Offices supports thousands of young and aspiring entrepreneurs every year. Through the course of this year’s IBYE competition for example, 450 young entrepreneurs have already participated in business bootcamps, 92 local winners have won ‘game changing’ investments of between €10,000 and €20,000 for their businesses and hundreds more have been offered training and mentoring opportunities, all through their Local Enterprise Office.”