The Online Trading Voucher is an initiative facilitated by Local Enterprise Offices. The initiative exists to help Irish businesses to invest in trading online and developing their online presence. The Local Enterprise Offices fund up to €2500 of projects through the Online Trading Voucher scheme.
In October we attended a very effective Online Trading Voucher information evening hosted by Clare Local Enterprise Office. The voucher is available to businesses with a turnover of less than 2 million, employ less than 10 staff and have been trading for longer than a year.
The evening was presented in the the old convent chapel in the Temple Gate Hotel. A spacious room, with a beautiful timber roof, stained glass windows and a stage where the altar used to be. We were warmly greeted by both Finbarr Touhey and Padraic McElwee of the Clare LEO. Finbarr pointed us to the setup area and Padraic pointed us in the direction of the food and coffee.
Surge Media had been invited along to the event in order to offer attendees some follow up advice and answer any questions that might arise. Having successfully completed projects with clients through the voucher scheme we have seen how it can be used as a tool to enable business growth. With an increase in online sales each year in Ireland the online trading voucher offers businesses the chance to compete and begin to start their journey into gaining market share online.
Advice from experience
Among the speakers was Alan Finneran from IEDR who gave some enlightening statistics that gave us a great sense as to the direction that online trends were moving in. One of the most effective elements of the event was hearing the stories of both Aine Gleeson from WowWee.ie and Gwen Culligan from The County Boutique. Both businesswomen gave excellent presentations and shared their unique stories of their online trading journey. There was some excellent advice to the would be online traders such as being patient with building your online presence, using quality photography throughout your website and understanding your target market. Overall some very sound advice from businesses who had gone through the process of engaging with their Local Enterprise Office and have thrived in their efforts to build an online revenue stream.
Padraic from Clare LEO offered some guidance and pointers on where to go and what to do next in applying for this grant.
Afterwards, we met with a variety of very interesting businesses, all with very different requirements and visions as to the direction that their online presence should take. It’s always interesting to hear what businesses need. It helps us to keep in touch with any new trends in the business world.
Overall, the evening was extremely pleasant, very well organised, and most importantly: informative. We would like to thank Clare LEO for having us. We hope that SMEs in Clare take advantage of such an innovative scheme and in the long run the people of Clare benefit from the employment and revenues generated.
To avail of an online trading voucher or to find out more then click here to locate your local enterprise office. If you would like to speak to us about more information give us a shout and we would be delighted to help out in any way we can.