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Bord Bia Ascent Programme

Ascent Programme HeaderBackground

Once successfully past the first stage hurdle of getting a food business from concept to launch and successfully trading, the next business challenge is moving the business beyond small scale into sustainable and profitable growth. Many companies plateau after the first growth phase and find it difficult to break out of that position for a considerable period.

For companies with an ambition to proceed onto their next phase of growth, a specific set of resources is required to support their development. These resources cover a combination of areas outlined in service offering below. Bord Bia partnered with PwC on the programme which brought a different perspective to the strategic review and diagnostic. Bord Bia has also identified a panel of industry leading mentors to support strategic decision making and transitions for participating companies. Programme runs from March to October 2016.

Service Offerings for Ascent Programme 2016

Service Offering Typical areas of assistance
Market Insight Market intelligence, market information
Route to Market Planning, Distribution, Operations, Export
Company Strategy Overall company strategy
Product pricing Product pricing and costing- management accounting
Business restructuring Succession planning, shareholder exits/entries/restructuring
Access to finance Business plan, cash flow projections, investment appraisal, assistance when dealing with finance providers
Management structuring/Governance Identify, attract and incentivise  key management team required, governance
Technology New systems implementation, system/vendor selection

Ascent Team

Bord Bia Sector Managers / Bord Bia Ascent Project Manager / PwC experts / Enterprise Ireland/ Industry leading Mentors


Companies will complete a one to one diagnostic after their application process, to identify the specific obstacles holding up the next growth phase. Based on this needs assessment, Ascent Mentors will be appointed to work with the company, and bespoke mentoring dates and objectives will be agreed with the client. Participating companies must have senior management participation and buy in for this programme to enable decision making that will deliver growth.

Targeted at companies with:

  • Turnover €1m - €20m
  • Ambition to progress to next growth phase
  • Need for external intervention
  • Ability to make tough strategic decisions
  • Senior Management buy in
  • Resource available for 10 programme days, and additional time allocated for review, implementation of programme actionsAscent Programme companies


  • Business diagnostic
  • One to one mentoring from PwC
  • 3 - 4 Days mentoring industry expert
  • Published action plan
  • Networking launch and wrap events
  • Review Q1 2017
  • Ascent Programme Outputs

Previous Participants

Hyde Ltd, Cybercolors, Follain, HF Foods, Island Seafoods, Killowen, Kush Seafoods, Pasta Concepts, Seery's, Twomeys


Now open for companies interested in being a part of the Ascent programme 2016. Applicants should have an annual turnover between €1 million and €20 million. There is a €500 participation fee for companies who wish to avail of this service.

Deadline for applications is Wednesday March 30th 2016


Mar 8th: Online application opens

Mar 30th: Online application closes

Apr 8th: Confirmation of  Membership

Apr 14th & 22nd: One to One Diagnostic Sessions for members

May 5th: Networking event I (PwC offices, One Spencer Dock, Dublin 1)

May 9th – 27th: One to one Mentoring Sessions I

Jun 27th – Jul 15th: One to one Mentoring Sessions II

Aug 29th – Sept 9th: One to One Mentoring Sessions III

Sept 26th – 29th: Optional: One to One Mentoring IV

w/c Oct 3rd: Networking event II (Bord Bia, Mount Street Lower, Dublin 2)

Feb 2017: One to One Review meetings


Maria Stokes, Trade Marketing Specialist - Retail, and Ascent Programme Manager