Just over a month left to enter search for Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur
The closing date for applications for the Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur competition is March 15th. The competition is open to anyone aged 18-35 who has a great business idea or is already running their own business. Run by the Local Enterprise Office Louth, it is a brilliant opportunity for young entrepreneurs to learn from business mentors, network with other young business people and possibly to win valuable investment in their business.
This week we talked to Nikki Reddy of Celtic Adventures in Clogherhead who took part in the competition in 2018. We caught up with Nikki to ask her about her experience of taking part in the competition.
Tell us about your business: Celtic Adventures is an outdoor education and activity company. From canoeing to climbing, stand-up paddling to archery, we offer customers really memorable outdoor experiences. Based in Clogherhead, Co. Louth our mobile company now delivers corporate well-being, team building and schools programmes to clients all across the country. The business constantly evolves to anticipate the needs of customers and stay ahead of the competition.
Why did you enter the IBYE competition? Celtic Adventures were already clients of the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) in Louth and we had availed of mentoring, training and support in the past. I received an email from the LEO encouraging me to enter the Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur competition in 2016 and I am so glad that I did.
What were you looking for from the competition? The opportunity to access really intensive mentoring. Taking part in the Bootcamp and being challenged by my mentor Rob Marr to really work on the business was one of the huge benefits of taking part.
What surprised you most about the competition? The biggest surprise of the entire competition was to discover how many other young entrepreneurs there were in Louth. There is such a diverse range of businesses being run by young people in the county. It was great to get to meet so many of them and learned so much from each other.
How did you and your business benefit from being involved in IBYE? The process challenged me. It really challenged me to step outside of my business and examine it critically. It made me realise the importance of developing a really strong business plan. Implementing that plan has led to significant growth in our business and a clear road map for the years ahead. It is an old cliché that you need to take time to work “on your business” instead of “in your business” and IBYE certainly helped me to do that.
Why should a young entrepreneur enter this competition? For the networking opportunities – it is so important to find “your tribe” and surround yourself with like-minded people. Also for the brilliant skills that you learn at Bootcamp.
And finally, what piece of advice would you give to anyone thinking of entering this competition? Oh that’s easy. Just go for it. Go for it. Go for it. You won’t regret it. It is a fabulous experience.
Encouraging young entrepreneurs from Louth to enter the competition, Head of Enterprise Thomas McEvoy explained: “Now is the time for anyone aged 18-35 to log on to www.ibye.ie and enter the Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur competition. It’s simple, it’s free and it takes about 15 minutes. If you have any problems with the application, my colleague Sarah Mallon in the Local Enterprise Office is happy to help and can be reached on 042 9324185 We have a €50,000 investment fund to share between the winners in Louth. This competition is a brilliant experience for young people in business and you never know where it will take you.”
Closing date for applications is Friday 15th March. Enter now on www.ibye.ie
Pictured above left to right: Last year’s entrants Martin Cronin, Chairman of the Louth Economic Forum; Thomas McEvoy, Head of Enterprise Louth LEO; Joan Martin, Chief Executive Louth County Council; County Louth Finalists: Evelyn Garland of Simply Fit Food; Nikki Reddy of Celtic Adventures, Winner of Best Established Business; Colin Marry of The Bacon Tour and Cllr Colm Markey, Louth County Council.