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Develop Your Business by Learning from the Bigger Guys

14th November 2018

PLEASE NOTE: This article is over 1 year old and may not contain the most up-to-date information.

Fermanagh and Omagh businesses are being offered a unique opportunity to invest in their management and leadership skills through a customised programme underpinned by peer to peer learning.

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council has recently become a partner in the long-established PLATO EBR (East Border Region) licensed Management and Development Programme Network. Fermanagh and Omagh District Council joins the four Local Enterprises Offices and County Councils in Cavan, Louth, Meath and Monaghan and three other Northern Ireland partners of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council; Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council  and Mid Ulster District Council in funding the network.

The Fermanagh and Omagh PLATO EBR Programme is now open for applications to fill a maximum of 20 places for small growth-oriented companies to join the Programme. Places on the Programme are limited and will be awarded as part of a competitive process subject to an assessment process, there is a membership cost with the Programme being subsidised by the Council.

The Programme offers businesses from diverse industry sectors within the Fermanagh and Omagh District the opportunity to develop and grow their business with the support of like-minded individuals and under the leadership of two larger, termed ‘Parent Companies’. It is a programme for entrepreneurs, driven by entrepreneurs PLATO mentoring can benefit both the participating individual and the company by enhancing their growth potential and competitiveness, developing their local/regional network base/contacts, safeguarding and creating new employment, increasing sales including cross-border. The Fermanagh and Omagh PLATO group will provide a sound and confidential forum for owner/managers to challenge their thinking and develop their business potential   through facilitated sharing of experiences and resources and networking.

Councillor Howard Thornton, Chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council welcomed the launch of this new Programme in the Council area,

“I am delighted to welcome the PLATO Programme to Fermanagh and Omagh, it brings an innovative approach to helping small business development by supporting owner managers to achieve growth by developing their own capability through mentoring from larger local businesses, who have already experienced key challenges and can offer practical advice and guidance I am confident that the PLATO programme will complement Fermanagh and Omagh District Council’s existing suite of Business Support programmes and I would encourage businesses across the district to avail of this unique opportunity to learn from our local business success stories”.

Dr Cecilia Hegarty, Director of PLATO EBR, said it seeks to remove the sense of isolation for growth-focussed businesses in Fermanagh and Omagh,

“This Programme is focused on growing the indigenous enterprise base with the support of the bigger guys in the local area that are further along the growth trajectory. These large company leaders underpin the PLATO model, they do not do consultancy yet they provide freely of their time, skills and expertise to the smaller participant companies on an ongoing basis. Larger ‘Parent companies’ have already met the challenges which the smaller companies are now facing…they can offer sound and 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 Fermanagh and Omagh businesses to access local, regional and all-island resources to grow in an ever-competitive global marketplace.”

The ‘Parent companies’ recruited to join Fermanagh and Omagh’s PLATO network is Balcas CEO, Mr Brian Murphy, who stated,

“I am delighted to be a part of a forward-looking programme such as PLATO which is an excellent opportunity for Fermanagh and Omagh businesses, I wish I had this same opportunity when I was starting out. Managers seeking to grow business face several different issues and many key challenges, and I hope that I can use some of my insight and experiences in growing our business to support other Fermanagh and Omagh businesses along their growth journey. I look forward to working with a broad range of businesses on the Programme over the next year”.

Ms Mairead McCrory Manager with Telestack Solutions, said,

“There is strength in numbers, and networking together to solve business challenges, this is a great opportunity for Telestack to share some of the experience in business with new start companies.”

If you think you may be interested in the PLATO Programme but not sure how, please join us on Tuesday 27th November from 10:00-12:00 at Telestack, Omagh for an opportunity to hear more about the Programme, hear about Telestack growth story and to network with like-minded individuals. Past participant Company McAree Engineering will also speak at this event. PLATO EBR are currently seeking participant companies, applications are particularly welcome from the manufacturing/engineering sectors to join the Fermanagh and Omagh PLATO Group, please get in touch for more information via Email to: or Tel: +353 86022 7123 or visit: