Fourteen of Donegal's brightest young entrepreneurs will be working on
fine tuning their business plans and rehearsing their pitches as they
get set for the finals of the local stage of Ireland's Best Young
Entrepreneur (IBYE) next month.

The Donegal competition had 56 entries this year and having come through
the initial selection process on the basis of the potential demonstrated
in their ideas and businesses, the local finalists were in Gartan last
week for an intensive three-day business bootcamp.

The 14 finalists come from across the county and have a diverse range of
business ideas. They are:
Lorraine Gallagher - Carrigart
Rakesh Kumar -Donegal Town
Hithesh Shaji - Stranorlar
Paul McLaughlin - Carndonagh
Peter Reynolds - Letterkenny
Kealan McLaughlin - Letterkenny
Laura Bonner - Moville
Aidan Friel - Kerrykeel
Philip Graham - Letterkenny
Martin O’Reilly - Ballybofey
Barry Walsh - Ballyliffin
Fiona Murphy - Letterkenny
Siobhan Boyle - Letterkenny
Catriona McGinley - Kilcar

The finalists will compete now in the Donegal finals on 2nd May, not
just for a share of the €50,000 prize fund in Donegal, but also to
compete at the Regional Finals to be held in Leitrim in June.

Head of Enterprise in Donegal, Michael Tunney, says IBYE has been hugely
popular among the county's brightest young entrepreneurs over the past
few years.

"We have found over the years that participants were delighted with the
training and assistance they had received from being part of the
competition. Indeed, many said they felt like winners irrespective of
who actually took the various titles."

According to Mr. Tunney the business bootcamp will have helped this
year's finalists fine tune their business plans, learn new enterprise
skills and avail of the highest quality one to one mentoring and
business coaching.

"The feedback year on year from businesses who have taken part in IBYE,
has been that the training and advice they received has been invaluable
and has helped them immensely with their business goals and ambitions.

All 14 of this year's finalists demonstrated great energy and commitment
over the weekend. The insight and learning they will have picked up at
the bootcamp will help them immensely on their journey as entrepreneurs
beyond the competition," Mr Tunney said.

The finalists will undergo more intensive mentoring over the coming
weeks ahead of a presentation of their businesses to a judging panel.

The winners will then be announced at a special ceremony in Letterkenny
on May 2nd.

Local Enterprise Office Donegal is supported through co-funding from the
Irish Government and the European Regional Development Fund 2014 – 2020.

For information about the supports and services on offer from Local
Enterprise Office, Donegal call 07491 60735

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