Google, Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Officeshave announced a new partnership, with a focus on supporting Irish businesses to upskill digitally and enhance their online capabilities.
The new ‘You’re the Business’ programme aims to accelerate Irish SME growth through digitalisation in the form of a free of charge online training scheme, as well as an SME reward programme. This comes after recent research from Google found that significant gaps in the areas of digital skills and competence remain a concern for many SMEs.
Through the new ‘You’re the Business’ digital platform, Irish SMEs will have access to a series of live and on-demand training sessions, geared towards supporting companies at all stages of their digitalisation journey, including those at early stages right through to those more digitally-sophisticated businesses who are ready to export globally. The training will consist of three modules that will help businesses understand how they can use digital to get online, grow online and expand internationally.
The ‘You’re the Business’ platform and resources are open to all SMEs, but ten participants that demonstrate a commitment to digital at different stages of their journey will be awarded with a suite of customised supports, including mentorship and ad funding. In order to be considered as one of the ten firms to receive a package of tailored supports, SMEs will be invited to submit a video [via the You’re the Business site] no longer than two minutes in duration detailing what their business means to them, as well as an example of how they have used digital to enhance their business.
The ten SMEs selected by a panel of established judges will receive a customised suite of digital supports from Google, which includes a €1,000 Google ads package and expert mentorship across a range of technical areas that will help them to further develop their business.
Welcoming the initiative, Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English said, "The skills required for doing business in a digital-first world are constantly evolving, and it can be challenging for SMEs to stay ahead of the curve as they manage their day-to-day business needs. Irish SMEs' ability to adapt and thrive is both an inspiring and vital component of their success. To prosper on their digital journey, Irish SMEs need support and that is why I am encouraging businesses from across Ireland to engage with the You’re the Business initiative and would like to wish Google, Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices every success in its roll out."
Director for Small Business at Google, Alice Mansergh added, "Google, Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices have a long history of partnering with businesses to help them thrive. We’re proud to have been able to play a part in the growth of many Irish businesses over the last two decades, recently helping them navigate a global pandemic. Knowing that there is still a digital divide, where a significant proportion of Irish businesses are not online, even though their customers are, we are keen to come together to help. Getting online can unlock so many opportunities for businesses. Digital skills will be important for driving competitiveness and navigating volatility in the years to come, and so will be important not only to individual SMEs but to the Irish economy overall."