The hunt is on for Ireland’s young food entrepreneurs

GIY and Cully and Sully search for Ireland’s best young food entrepreneurs


Secondary school students across Ireland are being invited to take part in the ‘Grow to CEO’ competition. The competition, run by GIY and Cully and Sully, is aimed at finding Ireland’s brightest young food entrepreneurs.

The ‘Grow 2 CEO’ competition brings together food growing and entrepreneurship, with students having the opportunity to develop their own soup recipe using ingredients they have grown. Students will then get to develop a potential new business promoting their product.

The initiative supplies growing kits delivered to 21,000 students across the country, applying to those taking part in the 2018 competition. The kit will provide everything candidates need to grow their own vegetables, including seeds, pots and soil. GIY will also be imparting expert advice on how to grow excellent vegetables.

The precocious entrepreneurs will find its lonely at the top, and students are encouraged to pair up with a business partner for the competition.

Students will be allocated a series of challenges throughout the competition, and the final phase will see the entrepreneurs entering details of their recipe and business plan. Six student teams will then be selected for the competition shortlist. The cream of the crop will be invited to a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style pitch at GIY’s home in Waterford on May 18, 2018.

The overall winner then be selected and crowned ‘GROW 2 CEO’ champions.

Speaking at the launch of the new competition founder of GIY Michael Kelly said: “This initiative aims to foster a spirit of food entrepreneurship in Irish secondary schools and discover Ireland’s next young food entrepreneurs.

“It’s a really fantastic opportunity to learn all about the food business from seed to shelf; we know that to make really good food you need really good ingredients and you can’t get better than growing your own. We’re very excited to be part of what could potentially result in finding the country’s next brilliant food enterprise.”

Registration for participation in the competition is open from November 8, 2017 until February 28, 2018. The grand final is set to take place at GROW HQ on May 18, 2018


Our feature image shows  ‘GROW to CEO’ Secondary School Food Entrepreneur Competitions winners of last year’s competition Mary Ellen Kelly and Roisin Kiely from second year at St. Augustine’s College, Dungarvan in county Waterford along with the founder of GIY Michael Kelly