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Coca-Cola And Enterprise Ireland Host 2019 Thrive Project Graduation

By Donna Ahern
Coca-Cola And Enterprise Ireland Host 2019 Thrive Project Graduation

Coca-Cola and Enterprise Ireland recently hosted the graduation ceremony of the 2019 Thrive Project which equipped seven innovative Irish companies in the food and drinks sector with the business insights and tools to scale-up in the global market.

The companies successfully graduating from this year’s programme are Ballymaloe Foods, a range of table sauces and relishes, Blanco Nino, a range of authentic tortillas, Boann Distillery, a range single malt, pot still and blended whiskies, Keogh’s Crisps, a range of premium potato crisps and popcorn, Killowen Farm, a range of yoghurts, Loughnane’s, a range of premium breakfast meats and vegan burgers and Rye River Brewing, a range of over twenty beers.

First established in 2016, the Thrive Project is a six-month leadership programme created by Coca-Cola and Enterprise Ireland, in partnership with Dublin City University (DCU).

“The Thrive Project is all about leadership and innovation within Ireland’s food and drink industry. By sharing best practices, experiences and insights over the course of the six-month programme, Coca-Cola can help ambitious Irish companies to become global brands," said Petre Sandru, country manager, Coca-Cola Ireland.

The seven entrepreneurs in the 2019 Thrive Project were provided with a unique opportunity to undertake strategy development and commercialisation sessions at Coca-Cola headquarters in Atlanta with global executives and discuss their strategy and new product development with market experts in the company’s London office.


"Through the combination of Coca-Cola’s global market and consumer insights together with our expertise in business development and financial planning, today’s seven graduating companies now have the skills and ideas at their disposal to propel them to the next stage of growth and success,” added Orla Battersby, manager, food division, Enterprise Ireland.

Sustainable Growth Opportunities

The drinks giant said that workshops led by Enterprise Ireland in Dublin also enabled these aspiring business leaders to apply their learnings and create sustainable growth opportunities.

Reflecting on his experience participating in the 2019 Thrive Project, Peter Maguire, sales director Rye River Brewing Company, said: “The Thrive Project opened my eyes to the new business opportunities outside of Ireland and to think strategically about realising our ambitious growth plans.

"Advice from the global leadership team at Coca-Cola together with one-to-one coaching sessions have proven invaluable in helping us to ‘think big’ and to look for new opportunities to expand our product range. We’ve already applied the learning from the programme and are seeing the positive effects.”


“Enterprise Ireland is committed to supporting Irish businesses as they scale internationally. The Thrive Project provides an important platform for entrepreneurs in the food and drink sector to succeed in the global marketplace.

The graduation of the class of 2019 brings to 30 the number of entrepreneurs mentored to date. The 2020 Thrive Project will commence in May with eight new companies participating in what will be the fifth year of the global leadership programme.

For further details on the Thrive Project, run by Coca-Cola and Enterprise Ireland chick here.

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