Want to help your early-stage food or drink business succeed? Food Works is here to help you out.
Now in its 10th year, Food Works is an incredibly unique programme that brings together the expertise of three state agencies - Bord Bia, Enterprise Ireland and Teagasc - to help food and drink start-ups get investor ready and applications for the 2023 programme are now open.
Open to all Irish food and drink start-ups or businesses in their early stages (less than four years), Food Works has raised over €6.5 million in funding for participants over the past 10 years in order to help them to scale production and get ready for export.
Some of Ireland's best-known small producers have taken part in the programme and grown their businesses massively, with participants including now-household names like Wicklow Wolf, Nobó, Lismore Food Company, Fiid and Thanks Plants. Some of the country's buzziest small producers, including Grá Chocolates, BiaSol, Leamhain, Hot Chip and X-Lite are taking part in the Food Works programme this year and we can't wait to see how it goes for them.
So, how does it work? Eligible businesses need to submit an application via the Food Works website by Friday, December 2 2022. A shortlist of finalists will be invited to interview with the Food Works panel in January, before the successful companies begin the programme in February - the Food Works 2023 scheme will run until November 2023. It's a competitive process with one intake of successful applicants per year, but the knowledge and growth participants will take away from the programme is unparalleled.
Throughout the programme, successful participants will get investor-ready by developing a comprehensive business plan focused on scaling internationally. They will also take part in workshops with strategy, finance, product development and marketing experts, as well as receiving customised support from business advisors, facilitated peer-to-peer learning and networking opportunities across the industry - at home and abroad.
Additionally, the three state agencies will provide further specialist training to each of the participants: Bord Bia will offer strategic insight and support, assisting participating companies in their understanding of consumers, competitors, trends, opportunities and both domestic and international markets. Enterprise Ireland is responsible for the development and growth of Irish enterprises in global markets. Its Food Division focuses on supporting high-potential food and drink companies on developing their export sales. Meanwhile, Teagasc provides integrated research, technical advice, and training services. Its state-of-the-art food centres in Dublin and Cork provide participants with access to facilities, equipment, and specialist expertise.
Think your company has what it takes to succeed with the help of Food Works? Applications for the 2023 programme close on December 2 2022, so apply now via foodworksireland.ie or visit @foodworksirl to find out more.
Brought to you in association with Food Works