BUSINESS: BUNCRANA MAN CROWNED DONEGAL’S BEST YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR

first_imgChristopher Duffy of Duffy Potatoes receives his overall award for Donegal’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year from the Mayor of Donegal, Councillor Ciaran Brogan. Included in the photo are from left councillor Gerry McMonagle, Mayor of the Letterkenny Municipal District, Chief Eexecutive of Donegal County Council, Seamus Neely, Michael Tunney, Head of Enterprise, Donegal Local Enterprise Office and Councillor Enda Bonner.The overall winner of Donegal’s Best Young Entrepreneur 2015 was Christopher Duffy of Duffy Potatoes who also won the Best Start-Up Business Category.Niall McGonigle from Ballyshannon who won the Best New Idea Category in the Donegal Final of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur competition.Category Winners in the Donegal finals of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur were from left Niall McGonigle from Ballyshannon who won the Best New Idea Category; Christopher Duffy of Duffy Potatoes who was overall winner and also winner of Best Start-Up category and Aisling Cunningham from Carndonagh who won the Best Established Business Category.The Mayor of Donegal, Councillor Ciaran Brogan pictured with staff from Donegal Local Enterprise, Donegal County Council, members of the adjudication panel for the Donegal final of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur competition, category winners and competition finalists.Declan Bourke from Stranorlar owner of ‘My Wedding Planner’ app who was a finalists in the Donegal heats of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur, pictured at the awards ceremony on Friday last with Carole Brenan of Enterprise Ireland who was on the adjudication panel.Jerome Keeny, Letterkenny, Aisling Cunningham, Carndonagh (Best Established Business Category Winner) and Paul Doherty (Kilmacrennan) Donegal finalists in Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur competition pictured at the awards ceremony on Friday.BUSINESS: Buncrana-based young entrepreneur Christopher Duffy has scooped the coveted title of Best Overall Young Entrepreneur in Donegal at the Donegal finals of the Irelands Best Young Entrepreneur competition.Christopher, from Duffy Potatoes who grow, pack and distribute all their own produce, beat off stiff competition from ten other finalists to win the overall award and the award for Best Start-Up Business.It was a good day for the Inishowen peninsula with Carndonagh-based entrepreneur Aisling Cunningham winning the Best Established Business section while Ballyshannon man Niall McGonigle won the award for Best New Idea. Friday’s awards ceremony heard Michael Tunney, Head of Enterprise at Donegal Local Enterprise Office say that from over 70 expressions of interest and in excess of 50 applications were made this year.Twenty two businesses had been selected for the business mentoring bootcamp with 11 then progressing to the final stages of the competition.The Mayor of Donegal, Councillor Ciaran Brogan, praised all those finalists for their innovation and determination:“For me it is refreshing to see so many young people showing leadership in this area and going forward we want to work closely with you. “I really want to congratulate everyone here for being so innovative.“We are unique in Donegal, we have always been very driven and we need to see more innovation, I have no doubt that you will do that.”Chief Executive of Donegal County Council, Seamus Neely urged all of those who had taken part in the competition to continue to engage with Donegal Local Enterprise Office and their partner agencies.“We’re at a time now, hopefully at the very end of what has been a very difficult time for business generally and it was during that time we have depended so much on the innovation of people who would start their own business and take what others would see as a challenge and turn it into an opportunity.“We are very anxious to understand what your needs are and we are anxious as a collective partnership, whether it is ourselves in the LEO and County Council or whether it is the team at LYIT or the team at Enterprise Ireland – whatever the partners. “We are very anxious to understand what your needs are, we are anxious that we know what’s best for the approach that you are bringing, so that we can reflect and accommodate for that.”Speaking afterwards, Christopher Duffy said he had been shocked to hear his name called out.“It was very unexpected, it was a tough category and winning it was very unexpected. I was so chuffed to win the category it was so tough, but to get the overall prize then, well that was unbelievable.”Aisling Cunningham who owns the thriving ‘Poweder ‘n’ Put’ salon in Carndonagh and who designed a new range of high-end make-up brushes, said she was also delighted to win the award. “It’s the first time I’ve ever entered a business competition so this was a whole new experience and it was brilliant to win it, but the whole experience has just been fantastic.“I said to myself today that no matter if I had won or not I have gained so much over the past few weeks and so much for the new idea outside of this competition even. I have just been making connections and focusing on my new idea.“Talking to all the other contestants, everyone said the same thing, everyone has found themselves progressing so much outside of the competition with their business.”Winner of the Best New Idea category was Niall McGonigle with an idea that he hopes will revolutionise patient care for those suffering from bowel cancer.“I studied product design in college and I came up with an idea to help cancer patients. My father had suffered from bowel cancer so that’s where the idea came from.Taking part in the competition was a huge learning curve for me, it redirected my thinking and to be honest between the start and the end of the process, it was the same idea but as if a different person was presenting it, somebody with a much clearer plan for the future.”All three of the Donegal finalists will now progress to the regional finals of the Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur competition.BUSINESS: BUNCRANA MAN CROWNED DONEGAL’S BEST YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR was last modified: September 15th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:BusinessFeaturesnewslast_img read more