Google has today launched its Staying Ahead Digital Roadshow, the first in a series of events held in partnership with Enterprise Ireland which aims to upskill and educate Irish SMEs in reaching new customers, expanding their businesses and future-proofing their operations for a digital world.
The Staying Ahead Digital Roadshow is part of a dedicated programme which has seen Google provide training in digital skills to over 60,000 businesses and individuals across Ireland. Google is now partnering with Enterprise Ireland and Local Enterprise Offices to bring their Digital Garage to a number of regional locations over the coming months.
Google say that with over 90% of jobs requiring digital literacy in the near future and small companies growing twice faster when they have a strong web presence, it is crucial that both employers and employees keep up to date with the opportunities presented by online technology.
The Staying Ahead Digital Roadshow takes its cue from the ‘Digital Garage’ breakfast briefings which run regularly in The Foundry, Google’s innovation centre in Dublin. The series of events will involve talks and workshops on the various Google tools that can help Irish SMEs find and understand new clients overseas, followed by one-to-one sessions with key Google executives.
The first event took place in Limerick today and was attended by over 150 people from SMEs across the midwest region. Speakers at the event included Minister Pat Breen, Minister of State for Trade, Business and EU Digital Single Market, Jonathan McMillan of the Enterprise Ireland Brexit Unit and Caroline Dunlea, CEO of Shannon company, Core Optimisation.
Speaking at the event, Minister Pat Breen said, "I warmly welcome Google to Limerick for the first of its “Staying Ahead” digital garage workshops outside Dublin. The Digital Economy is an increasingly important driver of economic growth and it critical that SMEs are positioned to participate. I am confident that “Staying Ahead” will give participants valuable insights that will increase their ability to respond to the opportunities that digitalisation brings."
Head of Google Ireland, Fionnuala Meehan added, "The midwest region has a strong tradition of innovation which we see every day, working directly with SMEs from the region to help them break into new markets and reach new customers. With only 17% of Irish businesses selling across borders online, we see huge opportunities for Irish SMEs, including companies in Limerick, Clare and the midwest, to be innovative in the digital marketplace and to become exporters of goods and services."