Building Your Business
I am an SME owner...

Who can apply?

The PLATO EBR programme supports any existing SME subject to approval by Local Authority (PLATO EBR Advisory Board).

Whats in it for me? 

For a small programme fee, you will have access to a support package to the value of approvimately €3,000, although some past paritcipants say you cannot put a price on the value of the PLATO Programme. Please click here for information on membership benefits

What training opportunities are there?

In addition to monthly group meetings and one-to-one mentoring, it is anticipated that a number of group training sessions will be held periodically depending on the groups training needs.  The PLATO EBR team and Parent Company will work closely will the group to identify shared training needs either within the group itself or common needs across the entire network.  Member companies across all groups will be encouraged to attend training events providing an excellent platform for inter-group networking and business development. 

What cross border trading opportunities are there?

The PLATO concept was imported to Ireland back in the 1990s from Europe.  The PLATO model is also active in other parts of Ireland and Europe with PLATO EBR working directly with several other PLATO region to strengthen the value of the network for member companies.

PLATO EBR is a cross border initiative allowing companies to share experiences, networking opportunities and training excellence.  As a PLATO member, you will be encouraged to participate in regular inter-regional activities allowing you to network in a safe, controlled and informed way.  Cross border events will also allow you to make new business introductions and to further develop business linkages and alliances created as a result of being in the network.

Who are the Plato Parent companies?

A unique aspect of PLATO EBR is the participation of large local parent companies that act as group leaders offering participants access to the full range of management expertise and a new ‘sounding board’ for making management decisions.  Parent companies benefit from new linkages to local supply sources for products and services, as well as the opportunity to demonstrate a commitment to the economic development of the local region.  Parent Companies represent the full range of management areas: personnel, marketing, accounting, finance, engineering, production, quality control and sales. Click here for a list of some parent companies that PLATO EBR has availaed of in the past.

How much does PLATO EBR membership cost?

PLATO EBR is an 18-month programme with an annual registration fee of €400.  The fees cover all seminar costs, group meetings, conference attendance and programme material.  

How much of my time will PLATO EBR take up?

PLATO EBR is designed not to intrude on the management of your company. The three-hour group meeting, once a month, is mandatory. There will also be a commitment of two evenings and two days a year for special seminar workshops. You may wish to devote extra time to individual discussions arranged by your Group Leaders, but that is at your discretion.

How does PLATO EBR ensure confidentiality?

All Parent Companies and Group Coordinator sign formal agreements protecting your confidentiality; this ensures that all discussions protect your company’s interests.

Who from my company should take part in PLATO EBR?

PLATO EBR caters for the development of the principal decision-maker within small companies. This is usually the owner, company director or general manager. If there are two directors who jointly manage a business, we encourage both to participate in the PLATO EBR programme.

Who else will be in my group?

The programme is open to all SMEs across all sectors (subject to approval by Board). The PLATO EBR team will endeavour to ensure that each group is made up of SMEs from a variety of sectors.  For clusters, companies from the same sector may be encouraged to join a cluster. 

What happens if one of my competitors is also in PLATO EBR?

To allow openness in group discussions, no competing companies will be placed within the same group. Likewise, if you have an existing business relationship with one of the Parent Companies, you will not be placed in a group with executives from that company.

When are the group meetings held?

Each group, with its Parent Companies and Coordinators, will agree a time and day each month that best suits all members of the group.

How do I sign up for PLATO EBR?

Expression of Interest forms can be completed, please email: and once completed should be forwarded to the PLATO EBR team.  Once the form has been processed, one of team will contact you to advise you of the next steps. 

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  • Monaghon