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New Programme Launched to Help Develop and Grow Your Business!

31 January 2018

Businesses across Mid Ulster are invited to apply for a new programme of mentoring and support to help grow their business.

Mid Ulster District Council has recently become a partner in the long-established PLATO EBR (East Border Region) licensed Management and Development Programme Network.

The Council joins four Enterprise Offices and County Councils in Cavan, Louth, Meath and Monaghan and two Northern Ireland partners, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council and Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council in funding the network.

The programme offers Mid Ulster businesses from diverse industry sectors, the opportunity to develop and grow their business with the support of like-minded individuals and mentoring from two larger ‘Parent Companies’.

The Mid Ulster PLATO EBR programme is now open for applications from small growth-oriented companies, with a maximum of 20 places available. Places on the programme are limited and will be awarded as part of a competitive assessment process. There is a membership fee of 300 euros with the programme being subsidised by the Council.

A programme for entrepreneurs, driven by entrepreneurs, PLATO can benefit both the participating individual and the mentoring company by enhancing their growth potential, performance and competitiveness, and increasing their local and regional network base. It will provide a forum for owners and managers to further develop their business and management skills, and facilitate sharing of experiences and resources.

Councillor Kim Ashton, Chair of Mid Ulster District Council welcomed the launch of this new programme.

 “I am delighted to welcome the PLATO Programme to Mid Ulster. It offers an innovative approach to business development by supporting owners and managers to further develop their own skills through mentoring from larger local businesses. These businesses will have experienced key challenges and be able to offer practical advice and guidance. I would strongly urge Mid Ulster businesses not to miss this unique opportunity to learn from our local business success stories”.

Dr Cecilia Hegarty, Director of PLATO EBR, commented on introducing this successful programme to Mid Ulster.

“This Programme is focused on growing the indigenous enterprise base by offering the support of a local network and mentoring from larger enterprises that are further along the growth trajectory. Larger ‘parent companies’ will be able to provide practical advice which can be readily implemented to assist businesses to scale and grow competitively. As a cross-border network, PLATO EBR is uniquely positioned to assist Mid Ulster businesses access local, regional and all-island resources to grow in an ever-competitive global marketplace.”

The first ‘parent company’ recruited to join Mid Ulster’s PLATO network is Uform. Chairman Eamon Donnelly, the recent winner of ‘Business Person of the Year’ at the Mid Ulster Business Awards stated:

“I am delighted to be a part of this programme. It is an excellent opportunity for local businesses, and one which I would have benefited from when starting out. Owners seeking to grow their business face a number of different issues and challenges, and I hope that I can use some of my insight and experience to support other businesses along their growth journey. I look forward to working with a broad range of businesses on the programme over the next year”.

PLATO EBR is currently seeking one additional parent company to join Uform, and 20 participant companies to join the Mid Ulster PLATO Group. If your business could benefit from this programme, please email cecilia@platoebr.com or telephone 00 353 86022 7123 or visit www.platoebr.com


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