Donegal’s representative in the national finals of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) competition, Martin O’Reilly, met with Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys, T.D. and Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen T.D.
The former Donegal player joined the other 23 finalists to discuss their businesses and ideas with the Ministers ahead of the IBYE Final which will take place on the 15th September in Google HQ in Dublin.
The IBYE programme is run by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) in local authorities, funded by the Government of Ireland with the support of the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and Enterprise Ireland.
The 24 entrepreneurs also attended a pitch training day at Google HQ in Dublin where they were given extensive pitch training and they had the chance to meet their fellow finalists for the first time.
O’Reilly’s Sports based in Ballybofey was founded in October 2017 by Martin and Steven O’Reilly.
In the last year, they have designed and manufactured a vast range of personalised and bespoke clothing from playing gear, to leisure wear and workwear for over 100 clubs, businesses and organisations throughout Ireland and the U.K with the a focus on quality and service.
It’s been a busy year for the MacCumhaill’s GAA club-man who won the best start-up category in the Donegal Enterprise Awards last year and followed that up by taking the Donegal and Regional awards in the IBYE competition.
“I was absolutely delighted to have won Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur of the Year Competition in Donegal and to follow that up by winning the Regional award. I am so grateful to all our customers who have been with us from the beginning, because without them, this would not have been possible. I have been lucky enough to have represented Donegal before on the sports field, but this is a new and exciting challenge for me and I am hugely looking forward to the national finals,” he said.
Head of Enterprise in Donegal, Michael Tunney, described Martin as having been an exceptional entrepreneur to work with right through the IBYE process.
“He has a winning mentality, competitive drive and an excellent attitude to furthering the business. That makes our job a lot easier. Martin is a credit to Donegal and a further example of how the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in the region. We wish him the very best of luck in the National Final and we look forward to continuing to work with O’Reilly Sports beyond the final to help them grow their business.”
The 24 IBYE Finalists for 2019 will be competing for a €100,000 fund across the three categories. The winner of the Best Business Idea will receive a €15,000 investment with the runner up securing a €5,000 investment.
The Best Start-Up Business and Best-Established Business winners will receive a €25,000 investment each with the runners up in those categories receiving a €5,000 investment, while the 2019 Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur selected from the three category winners will receive an additional €20,000 investment.
The Final of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur takes place on Sunday 15th September at Google HQ in Dublin.
Local Enterprise Office Donegal is supported through co-funding from the Irish Government and the European Regional Development Fund 2014 – 2020. To contact the Local Enterprise Office in Donegal, log on to www.localenterprise.ie/donegal or phone 0749160735.