LEOs Launch Online Food Programme

27 Apr 2020 | 12.50 pm

LEOs Launch Online Food Programme

Structured guidance and advice for food entrepreneurs

27 Apr 2020 | 12.50 pm

The Local Enterprise Office (LEO) network is launching an online food programme to provide food-focused entrepreneurs with advice and guidance.

The novel Digital School of Food has already been successfully piloted in the Dublin region in conjunction with Enterprise Ireland and Bord Bia. The programme is now available nationwide to qualifying applicants and is being run by the LEOs.

The online programme is an e-learning initiative that brings producers from initial ideas through to start-up and grow stages.

It includes support from experts in the field, as each course has a real producer who contributes tips and advice throughout. The programme includes contributions from trade buyers in Supervalu, Musgrave and Spar, along with the likes of Domini Kemp of ITSA Food Group and food producers who have been through the system.

Entrepreneurs who complete the Digital School of Food are then primed to move on to take part in Food Starter programme offered by the LEOs and subsequently Food Academy, which gives producers the opportunity to get their product on retail shelves.

Oisín Geoghegan (pictured), chair of the network of LEOs, said that it is important to continue to cultivate new food entrepreneurs and startups during these challenging times.

“The Digital School of Food is an excellent first step for anyone with an idea to establish a food production business. It will help them mould that idea to bring it to the next stage. This is particularly significant now, with many potential entrepreneurs at home, they can access this programme from anywhere,” Geoghegan added.

“Following completion, participants can move on to more advanced programmes such as Food Starter and Food Academy, as well as further supports such as management development and assistance in raising funding for their small business.”

The Digital School of Food material is broken into six themes, each containing two to three courses. The themes include doing initial research into business ideas, thinking about finance, routes to market and growing sales.

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