Google, in partnership with Enterprise Ireland, hosted the “Grow With Google” event at the Theatre Royal in Waterford yesterday.
The event involved talks and workshops on the many free digital tools that can help Irish SMEs find and understand new clients both domestically & overseas.
The event brought together over 100 SMEs from across Waterford, Wexford, Kilkenny and Tipperary, and was attended by Minister John Halligan TD, Minister of State for Training and Skills, in addition to representatives from Waterford City Council and Waterford Chamber of Commerce.
One-to-one masterclass sessions with key Google executives were also held so that business owners could receive practical training in these vital skills and knowledge.
Grow with Google Waterford was the first in a series of events held this year by Google 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 events take their inspiration from Google’s highly popular Breakfast Briefings held monthly at its EMEA headquarters in Dublin, and the company aims to upskill 8,000 Irish businesses via Grow with Google initiatives this year.
Speaking at the event yesterday, Minister John Halligan said, "I warmly welcome Google to Waterford for the first of its “Grow with Google” events to be held outside of Dublin. It is widely acknowledged that for small and medium-sized businesses nowadays it is not enough to simply have a presence online - they need to have the skills to effectively market themselves to stand out in an increasingly competitive environment, and this is especially true for companies wishing to expand abroad. Google has greatly benefited SMEs of the region here today by helping them to boost their digital capabilities and encouraging them to look beyond their local markets."
Director at Google, David Sneddon added, "We have seen so much talent, enthusiasm, and passion from SMEs in Waterford and surrounding counties, so we were delighted to bring our Grow with Google event here today. Many of the business owners I have spoken with have expressed an awareness of the importance of a good online presence and the appropriate use of digital tools to grow their business, but until now they have been unsure or nervous about how and where to start. We hope that today’s talks and workshops will have contributed positively to local businesses’ continued growth aspirations, not only nationally but also internationally. Our Grow with Google programme has already trained more than 10 million people in digital skills across EMEA and we are committed to ensuring Irish people and companies are at the forefront of digital."