Louth celebrates two winners at regional finals of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur
The Local Enterprise Office in Louth had two winners in Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur Regional Final on Wednesday night.
Two incredible young entrepreneurs, Conor Kerley (31) of Setanta Nutrition Science from Dundalk and Orla Stafford (20) of Izmoo in Drogheda are heading to Google HQ on 15th September to represent the North East in the Best Start Up and Best Business Idea categories.
They are now part of the final 24 in a competition that had over 1,600 applications from all over the country. Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur is a programme run for 18-35 year olds by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices nationally.
The Best Business Idea category was won by 31 year old Conor Kerley of Setanta Nutrition Science. Conor, who hails from Dundalk, is a Doctor of Human Nutrition and Dietetics. His revolutionary product combines ancient wisdom with modern science to create wholefood plant-based supplements.
The supplement that Conor has developed lowers blood sugar, inflammation and fats like cholesterol, helping to prevent and treat multiple disorders such as diabetes. Conor’s product can help change the lives of millions of people around the world suffering from conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure etc.
Although he’s in the Best Idea Category, this idea has been moving along at a rapid pace. The prototype has been developed. Conor start clinical trials this month and is in the process of applying for a patent. Once all those things are complete, he plans is to launch the product within the next nine to twelve months.
At the opposite end of the county, 20 year old Orla Stafford from Drogheda will represent the North East in the Best Start-Up Business category. Her store Izmoo in Lawrence Street Drogheda, Orla makes delicious Italian gelato in a range of flavours to please all ages and tastes.
Orla is a first year student in TU Dublin studying E-Commerce and Retailing. But this not her first foray into business. When Orla was in Transition Year she decided that she was going to try running her own business. She found a product, called Bubble Tea, a fruit infused tea that wasn’t available in Ireland. She started her first enterprise with an outdoor catering Bubble Buggy selling at festivals and events.
But her love of ice-cream came to the fore. She trained in Italy in gelato making, with the very best of the best. She opened her first Izmoo gelateria in January 2018 and her second store in Rosslare last month. Last year she also scooped an award at the largest Gelato trade exhibition in the world. This is global recognition of the high-quality product that Izmoo produces.
An entrepreneur to her fingertips, Orla is also expanding Izmoo to cater for events such as weddings. She creates bespoke flavoured Gelatos using local ingredients such the delicious Stameen Apples.
Sarah Mallon of the Local Enterprise Office in Louth concluded: “We are so delighted to have two entrepreneurs in the National Finals of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur. The event, which takes place in Google HQ on 15th September, is a highlight of the business year and we’re looking forward to seeing our finalists compete with the brightest and best from across the country. But remember, no matter what age you are or what stage your business is at, the Local Enterprise Office is here to support you with training, mentoring, advice every step of the way. Visit www.LocalEnterprise.ie/Louth for more.”