THE PRIZE fund for this year's Kerry Rural Biz competition, which aims to encourage and support people in rural areas to come forward with new business ideas, has increased to €17,500.
The increase was announced by the sponsors at the launch the competition in Killarney this week. The competition was founded by South Kerry Development Partnership in 2008 and has since expanded county wide with North and East Kerry Development joining in with the project.
The prize money comes from private and public sponsors through the Local Community Development Programme, The Rural Development Programme and Kerry County Enterprise Board. Private sponsors include Radio Kerry, Dan Tim O'Sullivan, McCarthy Insurance Group and Lee Strand.
The overall first prize of €5,000 is for entries from any part of the county sponsored by the County Enterprise Board. There is then a first prize for entrants from the south Kerry area of €2,000 as well as an equipment grant prize up to €1,500. A second prize of an equipment grant of €1,000 is also available in south Kerry.
In the north Kerry area the first prize is €1,500 and an additional equipment grant prize of up to €2,000 is also included. The second prize for north Kerry is €1,000.
Entry forms are available from any of the South Kerry Development Partnership Offices in Cahersiveen, Killorglin, Killarney or Kenmare or on the SKDP website www.southkerry.ie. In the North Kerry area the entry forms are available through NEKD offices in Tralee, Listowel and Castleisland.
The closing date is Friday, October 4.