PLATO EBR Seeks Applications For Unique Business Development Programme


SOLE traders, micro-enterprises and SME’s across the Down District Council area are invited to submit an application to PLATO EBR’s business development programme.

Part financed by the European Union’s INTERREG IVA Cross Border Programme and managed by the Special EU Programmes Body, PLATO EBR has received €664,000 funding.

[caption id="attachment_44447" align="alignleft" width="390"]At the launch of the Plato EBR initiative were Down District Council Chairman Cllr Maria McCarthy, At the launch of the Plato EBR initiative were Down District Council Chairman Cllr Maria McCarthy, Stephen Meldrum, General Manager at the Slieve Donard Resort and Spa, Mary Meehan, PLATO Networking Manager and John Mallon, Nitronica Managing Director. [/caption]

A unique aspect of PLATO EBR is the ‘parent’ company relationship it has with large national and international companies, who having been through the business growth trajectory will act as group facilitators. Considered to be the premier business development programme for owner-managers of SME’s, the list of ‘parent’ companies involved makes it obvious why this is so.

PLATO EBR is delighted to have the support of local companies Nitronica and The Slieve Donard Hotel and Spa who will participate as parent companies for the network.  Other network parent companies include; ABB; Bank of Ireland; Bombardier; BOSE; Combilift; Cross Refrigeration; Curves; Glen Dimplex; McElmeel Mobility; MJM Marine Group; National Pen; Premier Periclase; and Seagoe Technologies who are just some of the national and international companies that have signed up to PLATO EBR as parent companies and guest speakers.

In signing up, these companies have committed to helping sole traders, micro–enterprises and SMEs in the East Border Region and Down District Council is one of ten member councils making up the strategic cross border partnership of the East Border Region. Through PLATO EBR growth seeking enterprises have access to the wider management expertise and experience of established companies.

Speaking about the programme, Down District Council Chairman, Councillor Maria McCarthy said: “PLATO EBR is a great opportunity for our local companies to make contact with and learn from leading businesses in this area. We fully support the bringing together of owners and managers in this way and recognise that it is an effective method of helping local businesses grow. If you are a local owner/manager and are thinking about seeking support for growth I would definitely recommend giving the PLATO EBR scheme a try.”

PLATO EBR is now recruiting companies to join a network in the Down District Council area.  If you are interested, please come along to our information briefing on:

Thursday 28 November from 8am – 9.30am at The Saint Patrick Centre, Downpatrick.

For more info contact 00353 4781975 or email for an application form.

  • For more information on the SEUPB please visit

About Plato EBR

  • The programme is a joint collaboration of East Border Region Limited and the District Councils across the East Border Region and County Enterprise Boards in Ireland.
  • Project Partner(s):  Monaghan County Enterprise Board, Louth County Enterprise Board, Armagh City & District Counci Ards BC, Banbridge DC, Craigavon BC, Down DC,  North Down BC, Newry & Mourne DC, Louth County Council, Monaghan County Council, Meath County Council
  • EBR is dedicated to the successful development of the East Border Region’s indigenous small and medium enterprise (SME) sector. Plato EBR offers Owner Managers a business support forum where they can tackle the challenges and issues of today’s business world. Through a unique partnership with large “parent” companies, Plato EBR creates a confidential and safe environment where SMEs can benefit from facilitated group learning, training activities, business linkages and networking events. Plato EBR encouragesparticipants to share experiences and resources, to stimulate new ideas, and to support each other as they make the strategic decisions that determine how their businesses will grow.
  • Plato EBR is part of a dynamic national and European wide network, with over 8,000 SMEs and over 500 parent companies in Ireland, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Denmark, Slovenia, France and Finland participating in Plato programmes.
  •  The East Border Region Plato Programme will form 16 networks of SME’s, involving 240 SME’s from across the East Border Region. It will also link these SME’s with 32 senior managers in large ‘parent’ companies. The 32 facilitators and 16 mentors appointed to support the Groups will be trained jointly in mentoring and facilitation skills and become a more effective networking resource for the East Border Region.