Food Starter Programme January 2023

Food Starter Programme August 2021 image

Food Starter Programme January 2023

Food Starter is a dynamic online 4 x half-day programme designed to help those with a food idea, or those at an early stage of starting up a food business (typically within the first 24 months).

The objective of the four half days is to provide the participants with a base knowledge of what is involved in setting up a food or drink manufacturing business. The content is designed to provide participants with information which will allow them to avoid the pitfalls normally associated with this journey. Ideally, participants should have previously completed the LEO Start Your Own Business Programme. This programme content assumes participants have the required business knowledge to run a successful business e.g. must already understand the basics of setting up a business, tax compliance rules, creating a business plan etc.

For those considering applying for the Food Academy programme in the future, this programme will provide an excellent opportunity to boost your chances of securing a place. The Food Starter programme is a pre-requisite for those planning to go on and participate in the Food Academy.


The programme content is not suitable for those planning to open a cafe, restaurant or foodservice operation (business owners from these categories should discuss options with their LEO). The programme content is focused on food and drink, and is therefore less suitable for those producing "near foods" such as pet foods, health supplements, etc. (Producers from near food categories should be advised that the programme content may have shortcomings, but it is still possible for producers from these categories to participate in the Food Starter programme).

Workshop Material:

Extensive handouts, best practice sheets and templates will be provided to participants to back up the workshop content.

Workshop Timings:


4 x half days

Day One & Day Two (January 31st & February 2nd):

The first two half days will focus on providing participants with an overview of the dynamics of the food sector in Ireland and getting objectives for your project clear in your mind.

The content will include:

• Feedback on your product idea from the workshop facilitator

• Understanding how to conduct research for your food business and how to complete a food business feasibility study

• Interpreting Irish food market trends and drivers

• Food safety overview

• Selecting the right channel to market for your product

Day Three & Day Four (February 14th & 16th):

These two half day workshops will focus on getting the business critical elements right, including:

• Costing and managing finance

• State agency supports and funding

• Distribution and logistics

• Identifying a unique positioning for the product

• Understanding branding and communicating the key brand messages

• Supports available for your food journey and where to next