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IEDR’s 2014 OPTIMISE e-Commerce Fund Opens for Entries

by Donal O Nuallain
21 May 2014
INF minutes to read

15 Irish companies to benefit from €150,000 Fund announces Minister for Communications, Pat Rabbitte, T.D. 

The IE Domain Registry (IEDR), the managed registry for Ireland’s official Internet address .ie, today announced that its 2014 OPTIMISE Fund is open for entries from small business owners looking for a helping hand to improve their e-commerce capabilities.

Encouraging small and micro-business owners across Ireland to apply for one of 15 places on this year’s OPTIMISE Fund worth €150,000 overall was the Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte, T.D.

The OPTIMISE Fund provides professional consultation, practical training and e-commerce development support to give small business owners the e-tools and know-how to ‘optimise’ their existing website and grow their business via the Internet. To date IEDR has helped 45 small businesses across a range of industries, including tourism and culture, food and retail, technology and business services, as well as media and education since the Fund was established in 2011.

Applications are open to all Irish organisations classified as an SME or micro-enterprise with a .ie website that is hosted online and currently accessible to the public. For further details about the OPTIMISE Fund and how to apply, see www.iedr.ie/optimise. The closing date for receipt of entries is 20th June 2014.

David Curtin, Chief Executive of IE Domain Registry, said: “I would strongly encourage small business owners with a .ie website to apply for IEDR’s OPTIMISE Fund. OPTIMISE is about hands-on, practical help that really makes a difference to small companies’ online potential. We match the businesses’ needs with experts’ independent advice on the right tools and technologies to create a better online experience for the companies, and their customers. Online sales and bookings will be a priority for some, while greater customer engagement using social media will be a focus for others. Either way, the move to e-commerce needn’t be daunting. It’s something that small Irish companies have been reluctant to embrace for too long, and too many companies continue to miss out on new markets, new customers and new growth opportunities as a result.”

Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte, T.D., said: “The OPTIMISE Fund is a great opportunity for small companies to develop their online presence, access global markets and improve competitiveness. One of the key aims of the National Digital Strategy is to get an additional 2,000 small Irish businesses trading online over the next two years. The OPTIMISE Fund will encourage companies to develop the capacity and skills which are fundamental to participation in the global economy and is a fine example of the practical support for small businesses developing their online presence.”