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Minister Rabbitte rolls out whole of Government scheme to support local businesses trading online

Dublin, 11 June 2014

Minister for Communications, Pat Rabbitte T.D., this evening brought together Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) from around the country for the first time to upskill their Staff, Mentors and Business Advisors on the important aspects of small business trading online.

Minister Rabbitte commented at the event: “Far too much on-line business goes to suppliers from abroad. We want to ensure the companies who access government support to go on-line will get the most from it. We are working with the Local Enterprise Office to upskill their personnel. We are helping them understand how digital impacts on logistics, marketing, search engine optimisation, payments and other aspects of small business. This will help to ensure mentors and staff in each LEO will be well geared up to guide applicant companies all over Ireland to use the investment wisely, grow their businesses, start exporting and ultimately increase employment”

The Trading Online Voucher scheme is designed to help the small companies to access the opportunities open to them through trading online. This will help companies right across Ireland to access new markets so that they can grow and create more jobs.

Building on the successful pilot conducted in Dublin earlier this year, the scheme is already opening for applications in 5 more counties (Cork, Waterford, Sligo, Kerry and Louth in addition to Dublin) and is being extended to every other county through the Local Enterprise Office network over the summer. The LEOs will be the key delivery partners working with the Department of Communications in implementing this scheme. Each LEO will play a critical role in ensuring the success of this scheme, which is designed to develop and grow existing and new business in their area of responsibility.

Speakers from the companies and organisations who define the online trading environment for Irish small business will be on hand to give a unique opportunity to learn directly from the experts. The Minister particularly commended the role of industry partners, saying “This is a true partnership between industry and the public sector to extend the economic reach of local Irish business. Companies such as Google, Facebook, PayPal, Digital Marketing Institute, Software Design, Relax Payments and An Post among others are giving freely of their time to ensure that the voucher scheme is a success and to help LEOs to help local businesses. This is a collaboration which will grow over time and produce outcomes for Irish businesses of which we can all be proud.”

To facilitate the national rollout of the Trading Online Voucher Scheme a Master Class Conference which continues in Dublin Castle tomorrow, Thursday, has been organised by the Department aimed at all Local Enterprise Offices, their staff, Mentors and Business Advisors. Expert industry speakers will share knowledge and practical advice relating to all aspects of trading online. Small business case studies will provide first hand insights into all aspects of trading online.
ENDS



Note to Editors

Photography with each local LEO will be available from Maxwell Photography for local media use tomorrow am.

Trading Online Voucher Scheme - The Opportunity

  • Irish consumers spend just under €4 bn online annually, of which 60-70% is for overseas purchases.
  • In contrast, less than 1 in 4 small or micro businesses are selling to customers online.
  • European Commission research suggests that companies which develop a meaningful online trading presence grow twice as fast, export twice as much and employ twice as many people.


The Target

  • The National Digital Strategy target is to get 2,000 SMEs trading online over a two year period
  • The Government’s Stimulus Fund has set aside up to €5m for the rollout of the Trading Online Voucher Scheme from 2014.
  • Under the scheme vouchers of up to €2,500 will be available to businesses who demonstrate that they have a credible plan to trading online.


The Event
  • To facilitate the national rollout of the Trading Online Voucher Scheme, a Master Class Conference has been organised by the Department aimed at all Local Enterprise Offices, their staff, Mentors and Business Advisors.
  • Expert industry speakers will share knowledge and practical advice relating to all aspects of trading online.
  • Small business case studies will provide first hand insights into all aspects of trading online.
  • Key industry experts are providing invaluable support in sharing their expertise over the next two days

Further details (and application forms, when available) can be found on each local LEO website, which can be located at http://www.localenterprise.ie/. We suggest that interested businesses maintain contact with their LEO in relation to the availability of the scheme in their area, as timing will vary from office to office.


 

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