New beginnings for Dublin City’s small businesses on latest Plato Programme

The biggest ever launch of a Plato Programme took place in Croke Park this week, with over 80 small businesses starting the new 18 month programme, supported by Local Enterprise Office Dublin City.Plato Logo

The peer-to-peer business support forum has already helped over 3,000 owner managers in Ireland, through the network of Local Enterprise Offices, and the new programme got underway in Dublin involving 80 new SME participants with 15 group leaders.
Participating small businesses from the Dublin City area include: Achievers Resource Solutions (outsourced staffing services), Leaves Pure Food (food manufacturer and event catering), National Tailoring Academy (bespoke garments and tailoring education) and Youth Nation (youth communication and entertainment).

Uniquely, each group leader, representing big corporations such as Ericsson, IBM, Microsoft, Pfizer and Electric Ireland, facilitates monthly group meetings. Marion Walshe, the Programme Manger with Plato Dublin explains: “At the heart of the Plato Programme are the monthly meetings, which encourage participants to share experiences and resources, stimulate new ideas and to support each other as they make the strategic decisions that determine how their businesses will grow. Their focus for the next 18 months will be firmly on growing their businesses, expanding their enterprise horizons and testing new markets.”

At this week’s launch event in Croke Park (April 29th), the participants were welcomed by John McNerney, Chairman of Plato Dublin, along with Oisin Geoghegan, Head of Enterprise in Fingal, representing the Local Enterprise Offices in Dublin. The guest speaker was the Founder and Executive Director of Suretank Group Ltd, Patrick Joy, a manufacturer and exporter of cargo carrying units for the Offshore Oil and Gas Industry. The small business owners also received communications advice from Alec Drew of Straight-Talker, before taking part in a speed networking session.

A small number of places are still available on the Plato Programme and applications can be made on-line at The subsidised cost for taking part in the 18 month programme is €600 per company.

Plato Dublin is open to businesses that have been up and running for a minimum of two years, with at least two members of staff and is supported by the Local Enterprise Offices in Dublin City, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, South Dublin and Fingal.