Daragh Egan named as Offaly’s Best Young Entrepreneur

Offaly winners will to representing county at one of eight IBYE Regional Finals

Offaly Express Reporter

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Daragh Egan

Daragh Egan receiving his awards

Offaly’s best young entrepreneurs have been announced at the County Final of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) competition, which took place in the Tullamore Court Hotel.

IBYE, which has a €2 million investment fund, is run by all 31 Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) and is supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and Enterprise Ireland.

The overall “best young entrepreneur” for the county was named by Local Enterprise Office Offaly as Darragh Egan, 24, from Mountbolus, Tullamore. The entrepreneur also won the category for Best Business Idea and an investment fund from LEO Offaly worth €7,000.

The other main category winners on the day were John Clendennen, 34 from Giltraps Glamping in Kinnitty in the Best Business Start Up category and Jesse Morris, 32, TAG Media Ltd T/A Dezynamite in Tullamore in the Best Established Business category.

John Clendennen with his award

Jesse Morris with his award

The top prize in the Best Business Start Up category was €15,000, with a top prize of €15,000 for the Best Established Business category. All three category winners will now be representing the County at one of eight IBYE Regional Finals, taking place during January and February 2017.

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Meanwhile, the category runners-up also shared an investment of €13,000 between their three businesses. They were: Carla Mooney, 32 from Portarlington in the Best Business Idea category; Emmet Nolan, 21 of Request IT based in Birr in the Best Start Up category and finally, Joseph Quinn, 32, Aspire in Clara in the Best Established Business category

Orla Martin is the Head of Enterprise with Local Enterprise Office Offaly and she said, “We started the search to find Ireland’s best young entrepreneur in August and the competition received a record-breaking number of entries this year, with 1,800 young entrepreneurs applying nationally. After a very successful IBYE bootcamp and County Final, the future is bright for both youth entrepreneurship and job creation in the region.”

Special guests at the IBYE County Final included: Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, TD, Anna Marie Delaney, Chief Executive of Offaly County Council and Leas Cathaoirleach of Offaly County Council, Noel Bourke.

The vital role of the judging panel was also acknowledged at the awards ceremony and this year’s judges included: Liam Holton of Future Ticketing Ltd, Tullamore and Mark Atterbury of Enterprise Ireland. The Regional Finals for IBYE are taking place in January and February 2017, to select 24 national finalists across the three competition categories.

Further details on the competition and supports available to young entrepreneurs are available through www.localenterprise.ie and from the IBYE website at www.ibye.ie

For more pictures from the night see Local Enterprise Office Offaly Facebook page by clicking here