Building Your Business
From choppy waters to rising tides MJM Marine Ltd. encourage businesses to look for business success through PLATO EBR

24 June 2013

On Thursday past businesses from Banbridge District and neighbouring areas had a rare opportunity to listen to a first-hand account from MJM Marine’s Founder and Chairman, Brian McConville about how the company has gone global, winning contracts in a changing marketplace and exporting their skills and products worldwide.  The event was brought to Banbridge through PLATO EBR which is part financed by the European Union’s INTERREG IVA Cross Border Programme managed by the Special EU Programmes Body.   


Over €664,000 of funding is currently available to help business owners and managers who are ambitious to learn and ambitious to grow participate in PLATO EBR


At the event, Rhonda McDowell, Network Manager explained “Business owners and managers who are located in Banbridge District are amongst just seven council areas in Northern Ireland able to avail of subsidised support through PLATO EBR.  A unique aspect of PLATO EBR is the relationship it has with national and multi-national companies such as MJM Marine Ltd., FM Environmental, BOSE, Combilift, FPM Chartered Accountants, Dundalk Institute of Technology, Glen Dimplex who serve as ‘Parent Companies’.  PLATO Parent Companies are those who, having already been through the growth process, have committed to working with sole traders, micro-enterprises and small business by facilitating business groups, sharing their experience, management skills and management resources with PLATO participants.  We are delighted to have an impressive list of companies and organisations, operating worldwide, on board willing to share their experience.  With such world class companies and high calibre leaders signed up the bar is set very high and the support on offer to businesses across all sectors is an opportunity not to be missed.”


Cllr. Olive Mercer, Madam Chairman of Banbridge District Council welcomed businesses to the event.  She stated “It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to this event.  As a Council we are committed to building lasting prosperity and to supporting businesses.  Given today’s tough economic climate the timing for an intervention such as the PLATO EBR and the subject area for this evening’s event is pertinent.  I thank you for taking the time to attend this event and hope you find it beneficial for your business”.


Representatives from the business community heard a frank and honest account from Brian McConville who heads up the multi-million pound company.  He commented “we weren’t looking for profit but looking for success.  A by-product of success is profit.  Much is said about this being a difficult time for businesses, it is but MJM Marine has never operated in anything but difficult times.  We’ve made mistakes but learnt from them, we won’t make the same mistake again. It is times like this that motivate us all to push forward and look outside the box.  It’s all about a ‘can do’ attitude in our company, as a business owner you need to know your company culture and work within that culture.  Running a business can be a lonely place but you have to lead from the front and know every aspect of your business inside out.  For me this was fitting a kitchen in the morning; in the afternoon putting on a suit, a tie and going out looking for new business”. 


He continued, commenting on what the company looks for when it comes to sub-contractors and working as part of a supply chain “create relationships with your customers and with your sub-contractors.  Look at the risk, diversify that risk away from your business.  Be aware of your suppliers as you grow, you will need them to grow so they can cope with the orders and work you give them.  Our company is continuing to grow, working all over the world we have our reputation to maintain.  I am still learning, as a company we are still learning and that is why I am involved with PLATO EBR, because I want to learn and continue to learn.  Through PLATO there are opportunities to do this.  It is through learning and knowing what is happening around you that you can look for success”.

PLATO EBR is delighted to have Brian McConville, MJM Marine Ltd, Mario MacBlain, Dundalk Institute of Technology, Paul Reavey, Brilliant Red, just some of the companies ready to work with sole traders, micro-enterprises and small businesses interested in participating in a Banbridge PLATO group. To find out how you could benefit from participating on PLATO EBR contact Rhonda McDowell, Network Manager on

+353 (0) 47 81975, +353 (0) 86 022 7232, email  or APPLY NOW.

Pictured at the event are Madam Chairman, Cllr. Olive Mercer, Banbridge District Council, Brian McConville, Guest Speaker and Founder of MJM Marine Ltd., Elaine McAlinden, Banbridge District Council, Rhonda McDowell, PLATO EBR Network Manager. Image courtesy of Edward Byrne Photography.


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