Cocktail bag business wins Belfast City Council competition to support young business people

The contest involved action-orientated workshops with world-leading business experts and a chance to win £2,000

21 current and future Belfast entrepreneurs gathered at the finale of the 21 Under 21 at Danske Bank on Thursday, March 21. They are holding a sign saying '21 Under 21: Entrepreneurs to watch in Belfast.'
21 current and future Belfast entrepreneurs gathered at the finale of the 21 Under 21 at Danske Bank on Thursday, March 21. Courtesy of Belfast City Council

A business that sells a teabag-style ‘cocktail bag’ that allows consumers to tailor their alcoholic drinks has won a competition held by Belfast City Council to support young entrepreneurs.

Brogán Brady and her company Instyl was awarded £2,000 as winner of the council’s ‘21 Under 21 Entrepreneurs to Watch’ which was set up to ‘unearth, recognise and fast-track’ 21 exceptional potential young entrepreneurs in the city.

Participants were involved in workshops from world-leading business people including Alice Thompson (Co-Founder of Social Bite and the Big Sleepout), Greg Bradley (Founder of BLK BOX), Maebh Reynolds (Co-Founder of Go-Pluggable) and Alan Mahon (Founder of Brewgooder, the UK’s fastest growing beer brand).

The event was supported by DWF Law, Danske Bank and Pacem Accounting and Tax, who also gave practical guidance on starting and growing a business.

The finale of the competition was held last Thursday which saw participants pitch for the £2,000 cash boost to their business.

Ms Brady’s cocktail bags - added to alcoholic drinks - are ‘packed with a carefully curated blend of dry ingredients.’

Ms Brady said: “I’m absolutely delighted to win the £2,000 prize which will help accelerate the launch of my business, Instyl.

“The 21 Under 21 Programme is a fantastic way to learn key business skills, build a network and make new friends. I’d really recommend anyone who has an idea or an early-stage business to consider applying and taking part in the future.”

Lord Mayor of Belfast Ryan Murphy said: “I’ve chosen to champion our city’s young people during my year in office, and we’ve also made a commitment to support Belfast’s young people to fulfil their potential in our community plan, The Belfast Agenda. 21 Under 21 Entrepreneurs to Watch is all about nurturing Belfast’s young people’s entrepreneurial talent, because they’re so fundamental to our city’s future success and growth.”

He continued: “We’re not seeing enough young people starting businesses in Belfast yet – and that’s despite their obvious talent and ambition. We want to show that enterprise is a viable career option for everyone, regardless of age, or educational achievement. And while starting a business may be daunting, our council enterprise and business growth team and our wider business networks are there to support you every step of the way.

“The young entrepreneurs who have engaged in this initiative are exceptional and I want to take this opportunity to congratulate Brogán Brady of Instyl and her peers and wish them every success on their entrepreneurial journey.”