We’re delighted here at Hosting Ireland that our customer Missionpossible .ie was a Winner for the IEDR Optimise 2014 programme…
Have an online business that needs some development? Why not apply for the 2015 IEDR Optimise fund and you too could be a winner!
The 2015 Optimise programme will be open for applications from 2nd March 2015.
We’ll have more details on how to apply shortly…
See below full press release from the IEDR…
IEDR calls on SMEs to apply for 2015 OPTIMISE programme launched by Minister for Communications, Alex White, T.D.
– Offline businesses eligible to apply this year – 60 SMEs benefit to date –
Monday, 26th January 2015. The IE Domain Registry (IEDR), the managed registry for Ireland’s official Internet address .ie, today announced that its OPTIMISE e-Commerce Website Development programme will help a further 15 small firms to improve their e-commerce capabilities in 2015. Calling on Irish SMEs to apply, IEDR has opened the OPTIMISE programme for the first time to applications from small businesses operating entirely offline, i.e. without a web presence. The announcement was made at a ceremony addressed by the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Alex White T.D. who presented graduation certificates to last year’s OPTIMISE winners.
Now in its fifth year, IEDR’S OPTIMISE programme has already provided 60 SME and micro-business owners with consultation, training and e-commerce development support, including tailored e-tools and features, to “optimise” their existing online presence and grow their business via the Internet.
Research1 shows that thousands of Irish small businesses still remain offline. Their absence from the Internet means that they are missing out on a share of the €6 billion spent online by Irish consumers annually, over 60% of which goes to businesses abroad2.
IEDR believes that its model of working shoulder-to-shoulder with business owners and service providers through a dedicated programme such as OPTIMISE addresses the issue more effectively than merely cheerleading from the side-lines. IEDR hopes that its decision to also support small firms with no online presence will give at least some of those businesses the training, tools and knowledge to embrace online channels and technologies as viable routes to their customers and markets – and as a pathway to sustainable business growth.
Speaking at the event, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Alex White, T.D., said: “Our return to economic growth, renewed consumer confidence, and the extra money – albeit modest – that is now finding its way into people’s pay packets all provide opportunities for Irish business. The growth rate of the digital part of the economy is about 20% each year. That’s why the Statement of Government Priorities put an emphasis on the digital economy, because it has huge potential to help sustain and accelerate the recovery in jobs and incomes that is now underway.
The Government is taking action to significantly increase the number of companies trading online, and to increase the share of online retail spend that goes to Irish businesses. Last year my Department launched a national Trading Online Voucher Scheme. The scheme is an initiative under the Government’s National Digital Strategy and is included in the Action Plan for Jobs. Working in partnership with Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Office network, the Scheme aims to get 2,000 small businesses trading online by the end of this year.
Schemes such as OPTIMISE and the Trading Online Voucher Scheme play a critical role in stimulating those businesses who need to be online but who need a little support to take a crucial step. I want to acknowledge the IEDR for recognising this and for continuing to fund and grow the OPTIMISE Fund.”
Congratulating the small businesses who completed IEDR’S 2014 OPTIMISE programme, Mr. David Curtin, Chief Executive of the IE Domain Registry, said: “IEDR is proud to have helped 60 small firms to embrace e-commerce and find their niche online. Now in its fifth year, OPTIMISE is evolving too and we are excited to extend our support to offline businesses for the first time. I’d strongly encourage SMEs to take a leap of faith, apply for a place and let IEDR help them to realise their online potential this year.
OPTIMISE is about identifying the right tools and technologies for each applicant and instilling the confidence and know-how to help small business owners take their company forward online. We understand that there are often time, resource and knowledge gaps for SMEs when it comes to e-commerce and OPTIMISE seeks to fill those gaps with practical support, development and training for the small business owner.
With online shopping entering the mainstream for Irish consumers there’s never been a better time for small firms to be e-commerce ready. It’s something that Irish companies have remained worryingly slow to do, yet the 2014 OPTIMISE winners have strong results to show from taking small steps towards long-term improvements in their e-commerce capability. I congratulate them and look forward to seeing their businesses flourish online.”
The application process for IEDR’s 2015 OPTIMISE Fund will start on 2nd March 2015. For more information please visit www.iedr.ie/optimise or follow @IEDR_dot_ie on Twitter for updates.
OPTIMISE 2014 winners who received certificates of completion include family run businesses, emerging and established companies from the jewellery, travel and tourism, retail, charity and service sectors (full details below).
2014 OPTIMISE Winners
2014 OPTIMISE Winner Details
Charity organisation who grant wishes to children between the ages of 3 and 17, who are battling life threatening medical conditions throughout Ireland.
Kilkenny Tourist Hostel
Hostel providing budget accommodation for up to sixty guests in the centre of Kilkenny.
Achill Island based company providing tourist and surfing related services while also producing bespoke gift products for wholesale and retail customers.
Retail sports shop specialising in running and football related products based in Carlow.
An online adult retailer for safe, health focussed and well produced accessories.
Dublin Taxi Transfers
An online booking agency which allows customers to book a taxi from Dublin Airport to destinations all around Ireland,
A fourth generation family jewellery business specialising in diamond engagement rings, antique jewellery and Irish silver.
Family run online business retailing fancy dress costumes, party supplies, and balloons throughout Ireland.
Purpose built theatre located just outside Longford town which comprises a 212 seat auditorium and gallery and performance space.
Dublin based family business retailing Irish crafts, knitwear, wool and tweeds from Donegal and other parts of the country.
A Galway based SAAS cloud reward and recognition platform which enables companies to reward their staff by getting personal tasks completed for them whilst they are working.
A contemporary jewellery store specialising in hand-made Irish designs created in their in-store workshop and by selected designers.
House of Ireland
A retail business specialising in the sale of Irish clothing, jewellery, china, linen and crafts.
Tour provider offering daily tours of Ireland’s major attractions along with adventure tours and climbing and mountain skills courses.
Dublin based provider of office supplies and services to the business sector throughout Ireland.