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 South Dublin, 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. Recently they talked to Sarah Kiely of Sadie’s Kitchen from South Dublin who took part in the competition in 2018. We caught up with Sarah to hear all about their experience of taking part in the competition.

Tell us about your business: Sadie’s Kitchen is an award-winning health food company specialising in nutritious bone broths that can be used as a cooking liquid or enjoyed as a comforting hot drink. All our broths are 100% natural, free from added salt, gluten, dairy and sugar and are a natural source of collagen too. Where did you hear about the IBYE competition? Through my Local Enterprise Office in South Dublin. Why did you enter the competition? To challenge myself and improve my business through the bootcamp process and also to raise funding for scale. There’s great PR to be gained from IBYE and it puts you and your business on the map on a national level to potential investors and new customers alike. What surprised you most about the competition? I was surprised by the level of support from fellow entrepreneurs, I made some great friends through IBYE and you really do bond at the bootcamp and help one another to grow. I was also taken aback at how helpful the pitching process was, I have done a lot in my time but I found the mentoring excellent and great at pushing you out of your comfort zone.

How did you and your business benefit from being involved in IBYE? The business benefitted through the ongoing mentoring and support the competition had to offer, this made me a better business owner and promoter. The funding was a great resource to help us scale and buffer the strain start-ups have on their cash flow during that growth stage. Why do you think a young entrepreneur should enter this competition? I think it makes you a better business owner. You refine your idea, business or plans for scale based on the in-depth training and judging process. It forces you to expose your business and have it analysed by some of the top entrepreneurs in the country. The leanings are invaluable as are the connections you’ll make. And finally, what piece of advice would you give to anyone thinking of entering this competition?Get the application in and don’t delay in doing so. Go into bootcamp with an open mind and willingness to engage with everyone and share experiences and ideas. Use that time to perfect your pitch and ultimately go on to win your category. The competition is ferocious but a lot of fun too.

Encouraging young entrepreneurs from South Dublin to enter the competition, Head of Enterprise, Tom Rooney 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, staff in the Local Enterprise Office are happy to help and can be reached on 01-4149000. We have a €50,000 investment fund to share between the winners in South Dublin. This competition is a brilliant experience for young entrepreneurs and you never know where it will take you.”

 Closing date for applications is Friday 15th March. Enter now on www.ibye.ie