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
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.
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
- 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 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
- 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
- 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