Why I Entered Irelands Best Young Entrepreneur and Why You Should Too!

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Irelands Best Young Entrepreneur is back for its 4th year running and its on the search to find Ireland’s best young entrepreneurs of 2018. Its hard to believe its been 4 years since I applied for IBYE with my idea MyLadyBug under the category “Best New Idea” and was successfully awarded 10,000 euro.

For those of you that are not aware of what Irelands Best Young Entrepreneur is its a competition aimed at inspiring more young people into starting their own businesses, inspire innovation and create jobs.

So if you are aged between 18 and 35 and either have a business idea or have already started a business, enter #IBYE today for your chance to win a share of the €50,000 county investment fund through your Local Enterprise Office (LEO). The competition is broken down into 3 different categories depending on what stage of development you are at. 

  1. Best Idea (has an idea for a business but has not starting trading at time of application)
  2. Best Start-Up Business (has started trading but in business 18 months or less)
  3. Best Established Business (has been trading for more than 18 months)

Ill admit I applied very last minute as I hadn’t heard of the competition till the the day before the deadline but I’d urge anyone that is thinking of applying don’t put it off, don’t have that battle in your head “will I wont I”. Just simply apply if anything its a great exercise to tease out an idea in your head. Looking back now applying for IBYE has been a stand out moment in my journey to been an entrepreneur maybe it could be the start of yours too? Heres my top 7 reasons why you should apply.

1.Introduction to your LEO

When starting out on your entrepreneur journey so many questions arise and these can almost stop you before you even start but you will be amazed what supports are out there to help you though the process offering support, mentorship, courses and even funding. One of them been your Local Enterprise Office. You can find more information about your local Enterprise at https://www.localenterprise.ie/Find-Your-Local-Enterprise-Office/

2. Mentoring / Support

If successful in getting to the pitch round within your county level you will participate in a 2-3 day business bootcamp and receive up to two mentor sessions. This support is priceless and gave me a great start to understanding my business.

3. Networking

I got to know so many local business people within my region and many of these relationships have become key contributors to me making decisions in my business. 

4.Nothing to loose everything to gain

Irelands Best Young Enterepeur takes some of the risk away when starting your own business its not every day a investor comes along and asks for 0% equity in your business.  

5. Business Plan

I am forever thankful that I got the time to sit down and concentrate on writing my first business plan.  I personally had no prior experience in this area but there is a vast supply of resources all across the web and within the business bootcamp to help you put one together. Top Tip – I used the Business Canvas Model.

6. Your Pitch

The IBYE competition gives you a great opportunity to pitch you idea to successful business professionals and with their feedback and comments can be help you refine or pivot your idea. This was probably the hardest aspect of the IBYE competition as I have always snuggled with public specking, but the more I understood and questioned each aspect of the business did I become more relaxed to the idea.

7. Validation

When I applied for IBYE MyLadyBug was a very loose concept, very little was actually thought out. The competition really helped me focus. It wasn’t till been awarded 10,000 euro did I realise the number one lesson for me to the competition was validation. Everything that I wrote and pitched was validated by business professional someone had basically said here is some money thats a great idea and we think you can do it. To me this validation meant more than the money, although I didn’t turn it down.

MyLadyBug is now in its 2nd year in business, delivering to over 18 countries worldwide and each month that passes are shipments numbers get bigger and bigger, no sign of us stopping and to think it all started with me pressing the button to send my application.

To read further into the IBYE and complete your application at www.ibye.ie, the closing date to enter is, September 29th. If anyone has any questions please feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] i’d love to help any way I can.

For further information on how to apply visit http://www.ibye.ie/

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