11patrickstreetA group of Kilkenny businesspeople are coming together to encourage entrepreneurs to follow their dream and start their own business in a unique competition worth €25,000. Business owners based in 11 Patrick Street are offering their services, support and experience free to the winning entry in a new “Giving A Start” Competition.

In addition, the owner of the centre, John Ryan, is offering cash, accommodation and business support facilities as part of the winning package – while the Kilkenny local authorities “Invest in Kilkenny” initiative will provide support to the winner, including €1,000 seed money.

The judging panel is made up of well-known entrepreneur and Kilkenny native, Bobby Kerr, CEO of coffee chain Insomnia, Terry Clune, CEO of Taxback.com which employs almost 700 people worldwide, and Paula Fitzsimons, an expert in entrepreneurship.

According to John Ryan Ireland is far from throwing in the towel and despite the recession and negativity there are hundreds of entrepreneurs who have great ideas and who need support to get up and running.

“There are a diverse group of businesses in 11 Patrick Street including a tax/accountancy firm, a PR company, a business training expert etc., so we thought why not reach out to help encourage an aspiring new business get up and running. Between all of us we have a lot of skill and experience which we can pass on.”

“We have already benefitted greatly from this initiative in working together and looking at how our experiences in business and of starting can be used to fast track an emerging business”

Mr Ryan said in the current climate people have to get out there to fight for themselves. “We all have a responsibility to get things moving. If this initiative could be replicated by small companies in every town in Ireland it could help kick-start hundreds of new companies this year and create hundreds of jobs.  We would be delighted to share our experience with groups in other towns and cities, to assist in spreading the idea.”

Bobby Kerr said it is really great to see small business taking the initiative to help up and coming entrepreneurs get going. “Initiatives such as this are to be applauded as these up and coming entrepreneurs represent the future of Irish business. I am thrilled to play a small part in promoting this competition”

Terry Clune said he was delighted to be associated with the competition and it was inspiring to see small, established companies reach out to encourage somebody with a viable business idea get up and running.“There are thousands of people out there with business ideas but who need the support and encouragement to start up. It is fantastic to see the spirit of “giving a Start” that is in 11 Patrick Street.  This is an example of leadership and commitment by people who can look beyond their own challenges”.

Kilkenny County Manager, Joe Crockett, said the new Invest Kilkenny initiative will be on hand to provide support to the winner. Invest Kilkenny was established last November to market Kilkenny as a place to do business because of its global access, its talented labour pool, office space and quality of life.

The businesses participating are:-

-           Paschal Bergin & Co Accountants & Tax Consultants

-           MD Media PR Consultants

-           Brian Dunlop Architects

-           Optimize Recruitment

-           Real Solutions Staff Training and Coaching

-           Fitzwilliam Partnership, Strategic and Financial Management

-           Pembroke Hotel

-           11 Patrick Street Business Centre

Closing date for entries is Friday 4th March. Those applying are asked to supply a short business plan; a three year cash flow forecast must also be attached.

The ideas will be short-listed based on their level of innovation, creativity and originality, understanding of commercial realities and overall potential for long-term success.

Five entries will be shortlisted on Friday March 25thand the winner will be announced at a function in The Pembroke Hotel, Kilkenny, on March 31st.

Full details are available at www.elevenpatrickstreet.com or www.investkilkenny.com . Entries should be sent to:


The 11 Patrick Street ‘GIVING A START’ Competition 2011,

11 Patrick Street,


or emailed to:

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