New beginnings for Dublin’s businesses on latest Plato Programme

New beginnings for Dublin’s businesses on latest Plato Programme

Plato, the Small Business Support and Development Network for Owner Managers, launched their biggest ever Plato Programme in Croke Park today, with over 80 small businesses starting the new 18 month programme, supported by Local Enterprise Office Fingal.


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 area include: Aviate Systems (software solutions for the aviation leasing sector), Genovese Food (manufacture of gourmet fresh pesto and tapenade), Signarama (signage and graphics) and LCD Project Management (construction project management, quantity surveying & dispute resolution).


Large corporations support the Plato Programme by providing group leaders. These leaders come from companies such as Ericsson, IBM, Microsoft, Pfizer and Paypal, and facilitate monthly group meetings.

Marion Walshe, the Programme Manager 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.”

Participants were welcomed by John McNerney, outgoing Chairman of Plato Dublin and Hugh O’Byrne of IBM who is taking up the reigns as the new Plato Dublin Chairman, along with Oisin Geoghegan, Head of Enterprise in Fingal, representing the Local Enterprise Offices in Dublin.

The guest speaker was Tom Keogh, Managing Director of Keogh’s Crisps. Keoghs Crisps was named Best Irish Start-up Business by Enterprise Ireland in 2012. In 2015 Tom was awarded both Irish Marketer of the year and Fingal Business Person of the year. Keoghs have received numerous awards for excellence in Public Relations, Marketing, Social Media and product quality.

The small business owners also received advice from Ellen Gunning of the Irish Academy of Public Relations.

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.

Click here to see photos of this event