Ireland

Training programme aims to get thousands of SMEs online – TechCentral.ie


L-R Lisa Corcoran, Vodafone; Colin Creagh, Klarna Ireland; Emma Jones, Enterprise Nation and Peter Lougheed, Microsoft Ireland

Participants will have access to various supports including workshops, e-learning, and access to digital advisers

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A new digital training programme offering virtual training and supports to small businesses across Ireland has launched. Go and Grow Online, aims to help 20,000 small businesses to accelerate their digital, sales, CRM, and financial skills by offering on average more than €5,000 worth of supports.

Go and Grow Online is supported by Vodafone, Microsoft, and Klarna. Irish businesses who take part will have access to the platform and the supports provided including workshops, e-learning, and access to digital advisers.

The programme is devised in response to demand from small business owners – many of whom founded their companies in response to the pandemic, with stats showing a 42% increase in new company registrations in the first half of 2021 alone – who are looking for training on how to ensure their businesses succeed online. 

 
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When restrictions allow, there will also be in-person digital drop-in sessions, hosted in selected locations around the country, with content delivered by a network of digital trainers, all of whom are experts in topics ranging from SEO to online selling.

“We are witnessing a once-in-a-generation opportunity for small businesses,” said Emma Jones, founder of Enterprise Nation. “The events of the last two years have fundamentally altered the way we live and created markets that simply didn’t exist beforehand. You need look no further than the transition from offline to online selling. The acceleration of digital technology and social media has levelled the playing field, providing virtual marketing platforms and marketplaces for every business to connect directly with their audience – wherever in the world they may be. We want to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs in Ireland, giving them the tools they need to build their digital skills and grow their companies throughout 2022.” 

Sinead Bryan, managing director of Vodafone Business Ireland, said: “SMEs account for a large majority of businesses in our economy, playing a pivotal role in innovation, job creation and economic development. We’re therefore very excited to work with Enterprise Nation to deliver a best-in-class skills training programme to support businesses across all sectors and helping them maximise their digital potential. In doing so, businesses can unlock new areas for growth and customer interaction, empower employees and create operational facilities. This initiative will play an important role in future-proofing our SME sector and addressing skills gaps to make sure every business has the best chance of success.”

Peter Lougheed, SME Lead, Microsoft Ireland said: “The Go and Grow Online initiative is a unique opportunity for Ireland’s small businesses to continue the journey of digital transformation that has accelerated across all sectors in the last two years. The programme reflects Microsoft Ireland’s commitment to supporting the digital and online ambitions of SMEs to create efficiencies, grow and expand and remain competitive. We are excited to work with organisations around the country to help employees work productively wherever they are, adapt business processes with automation and business insights, provide advice on new ways to engage with customers and to embrace security as more businesses move to the cloud.”

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