Plato Dublin is an online Business Development Programme for Owner Managers of SMEs funded by the Local Enterprise Offices in the Dublin region. New Plato groups start on a regular basis and run for 9 months with two meetings a month.
Plato provides practical training, business counselling and support so that you acquire the skills necessary to help your business grow and prosper. It provides an environment for owner managers to learn from one another and share their experiences at a two-hour meeting twice a month for 9 months. It also provides access to large company expertise and knowledge too. Large "Parent" companies involved in the current programme include Bank of Ireland, CRS Pharma Solutions, DCU, Dell, Ericsson, ESB, IBM, Microsoft, Pfizer and Ulster Bank.
Please fill in your details by pressing the 'contact us' tab and you will be contacted shortly or call Marion Walshe on 086 823 4309 to find out more.
Two new groups are starting in November 2020 - a group for Creative Service Providers and a Mixed Sector group.
Testimonials from the 2018-19 Programme
David O’Toole, Expert Security
“The Plato group was instrumental in putting new procedures in place.”
Gerard Mc Geough, Fairfield Inns Ltd.
“Plato is a school for SMEs. A very well constructed course, touching on aspects of business that few would have deep insight into.”
Jeff Whyte, Process Networks
“The Plato programme is extremely beneficial to all SME owners, no matter which industry you are in. Guest speakers, supportive leaders and like-minded business owners create an excellent atmosphere to fuel business growth.”
Philip Whyte, Process Networks
“I cannot recommend Plato highly enough. It has equipped us with many new tools to make us more successful.”
Tina Fleming, Boekestijn Transport Ireland Ltd
“The Plato programme helped my business and I to grow. It gave me confidence to continue on during difficult periods and support in knowing I was not alone.”
John McLoughlin, SelectaDNA Ireland
“Prior to commencing the Plato programme I thought I knew how to run a business, now I do.”
Estelle Cotter, Green Opal Media
“This programme has provided me and the business with excellent structures and support to refine and develop the business.”
Jane Manzor, Manzor Marketing
“This 18 month programme has been very beneficial to me personally and also to my business, great facilitators, great speakers and very well run. I would highly recommend it to anyone wishing to develop and grow their business.“
Testimonials from the 2018 Programme
Carole McCaughey, Kyles Events and Catering
“My colleagues and I got fantastic help and support from the tailored programme that our facilitators put together and appreciated learning from the multinational representatives in lots of varied areas including marketing, pricing, social media, strategy, HR, productivity and finance. It can be particularly difficult running a SME, as the owner/manager you are responsible for everything without a support system. Our team provided us with much needed support and structure while also providing a sounding board to bounce ideas off.
The mentorship that was provided to me from this programme has seen our business grow by 63% in revenue; we have recruited 3 new full time managers and implemented systems for success through the mentioned business functions, in particular in sales, marketing and team management.
Thank you for your expertise and for the ‘extra miles’ that you put into this programme to help our business prosper.”
Duane Byrne, Unique Communications Web & Marketing Agency
“One of the main benefits of Plato was being able to meet like-minded small business owners in a structured setting on a monthly basis and share information, problems and experiences and get input, suggestions and solutions to help each other’s business. It helped me develop as a business owner and help us grow our own business over the course of the program. I would have no hesitation in recommending Plato to small business owners to help you learn from the experiences of other business owners and grow your business.”
Raftery Ahern, JRA & Associates
“The benefit to me of my participation in the Plato program has been in challenging my beliefs and some wrong footed assumptions that were blocking my progress. These were exposed and replaced with more sure-footed insights, far more suited to the challenges I face. I have woken up to the idea that my own personal motivations are valid and must be central to my concepts of vision and purpose. These among other insights have given me a strongly renewed confidence about how to align my energies and thoughts to get where I want to go, and are now central to my way of thinking.”
Larry Brady, LB Fitness
“When you are within your Plato group you can see that others are having a tough month or quarter while you may be having a fantastic growth period. A few months later though it flips and then you find yourself on the other end struggling. Yet once you meet with your mentors and other piers you realise VERY fast that its all just part of the game.
However what is always needed is to surround yourself with like-minded people with a personal vision. Those who encourage you to dream bigger than you are already dreaming. Plato and its mentors give you that. They give structure, peers and mentors who are there to help you build strategy and discuss decisions that route you to success.
Currently our Personal Training studio has grown 97% in revenue since finishing the course. With profits also increasing (re-invested back into what will help us to get to the next level) and a daily routine that now has some structure about it rather than the “hustle” of the typical Irish startup in a so called “crowded market”. Thank you Plato.“
Testimonials from the 2017 Programme
Elaine O’Doherty, ODoherty.Biz Limited
“I enjoyed the journey through which we were provided with valuable insights in how to structure the business to move forward towards the next challenge.”
Darragh Lynch, Darragh Lynch Architects
“I found the Plato programme helped me think about my business more strategically and gave me the tools and information I needed to develop my business. I would recommend it to any small business owner.”
Philip O’Meara, Path Bridge Consulting
“As owner of a former participant company in Plato, I would encourage SME owners and managers to join Plato as it provides an excellent learning environment in which to develop your companies 3 to 5 year growth strategy.”
Nicola Kearns, Niks Tea Ltd
“Our Plato journey built a solid network between the group and offered practical solutions & business strategies which has improved our financial, employment, branding & future planning. We have come away with access to professionals who were guest speakers & leaders which will be invaluable long after Plato ends. Can’t recommend highly enough.”
Deepak Kumar Director, DK Global Recruitment Ltd
“An excellent opportunity to learn how other small businessmen run their business. Guest speakers during the course is the key success factor of this programme. Group leaders have the most difficult job as they have to manage adult small business owners. Overall it is a good programme for new startups.”
Shirley O’Rourke, Owner of The Delicious Food Co
“I took part in Plato in the 2016/17 programme, as part of a dedicated food group. I found the programme to be excellent. We had terrific team leaders who supported us throughout the programme. A few people left the group early on & the core group formed a really good network of support for each other. We had access to speakers who brought great knowledge & practical advice in the form of Marketing/HR/Business planning etc. This is a great programme, but you will only get out of it what you put into it. If you commit to it, turn up to all the meetings, be aware that it’s up to you to implement what you learn, it is a very enriching experience. Our group have decided to continue meeting once a month, on a more informal level, which is great. When you run a small business you can be isolated & Plato gives you a set of trusted colleagues which is invaluable.“
For more information, contact Plato Dublin's Regional Manager, Marion Walshe on 086 8234309. Plato can also be contacted by emailing [email protected]