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Tipperary’s Best Young Entrepreneurs Announced

Thursday, 22 December 2016

TIPPERARY'S best young entrepreneurs have been announced at the County Final of Ireland's Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) competition, which took place in the Peppermill, Nenagh on Thursday last.

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 Tipperary as Jennifer Nickerson from Tipperary Boutique Distillery Ltd in Cahir. Jennifer also won the category for Best Start up and an investment fund from LEO Tipperary worth €15,000.

The other main category winners on the evening were Andy Spillane, T/a Savvy Kitchens, Thurles in the Best Established Business and Paddy Moynihan, Unibooks from Loughmore in the Best New Idea category. The top prize in the Best Established Business category was €15,000, with a top prize of €7,000 for the Best New Idea category. All three category winners will now be representing Tipperary at Mid West IBYE Regional Finals, taking place in Ennis in early 2017.

Meanwhile, the three category runners-up between them shared an investment of €13,000 for their respective businesses. The runners up were: Enda Maher, Capital Transport and Shipping Ltd, Roscrea in the Best Established Business category; Evie Ward, Nutshed Ltd, Nenagh in the Best Start up category and finally, Marian Kennedy, PPR Brand, Clonmel in the Best New Idea category.

In her address at the awards ceremony, Rita Guinan, Head of Enterprise with Local Enterprise Office Tipperary 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 and 47 locally. After a very successful IBYE bootcamp and County Final, the future is looking bright for both youth entrepreneurship and job creation in the County.'

Special guests at the IBYE County Final included: Cllr Mattie Ryan, Tipperary County Council who represented Cathaoirleach of Tipperary County Council Cllr Siobhan Ambrose, Tipperary County Council, Chief Executive, Joe MacGrath, Sinead Carr, Director of Community and Economic Development, Tipperary County Council and Sinead O'Dwyer, Pressure Welding Manufacturing Ltd, Thurles who was the 2015 Tipperary Best Young Entrepreneur.

The vital role of the judging panel was also acknowledged at the awards ceremony and this year's judges included: Vincent Reynolds retired Head of Enterprise, Cavan County Council, Mary Fogarty, Retail & Business Manager AIB Tipperary and Michael Hanley, retired Head of Enterprise, Cork North and West. 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

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