OPTIMISE Programme

Enabling e-commerce for SMEs


The OPTIMISE Programme was launched in 2011. The initiative was created to empower small businesses to improve their online presence, hone their digital capabilities and grow their e-commerce sales. Our Digital Health Index research reveals that SMEs and micro businesses with e-commerce capability remain in the minority, despite consumers’ appetite for online shopping growing.Over the last seven years, we have worked with 170 small and micro businesses to plan, develop and implement significant web enhancements and e-commerce capabilities to their existing websites.

Sector based approach

In 2017 we revamped OPTIMISE, taking a sectoral approach in helping selected enterprises from a particular sector on their digital journeys.

Our current partners are the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland, Retail Excellence, the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) and the Hardware Association of Ireland.

Each participant of the programme undergoes a focussed digital healthcheck. It measures the performance of a participant’s business under the headings of Branding; Design; UX Usability; Content; E-commerce; Coding; Mobile; SEO/AdWords; Social Media and Email Marketing. A detailed report is provided outlining recommendations, so that participants have a roadmap for improving their online presence and e-commerce capability.

Participants are given fast-track access to the LEO Trading Online voucher scheme, which offers financial assistance of up to €2,500, with training and advice to help small business trade online.

From a sector organisation perspective, OPTIMISE supports SMEs to:

  • Assist members to grow their businesses and protect their futures by ensuring they are digitally capable and confident
  • Promote digital excellence within a sector and facilitate digital transformation
  • Ensure members can compete online in the global marketplace.

Our partnership with the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland has proven very successful in improving Irish design and craft businesses online presence and e-commerce capabilities.

Case studies

We have several case studies on how individual small businesses have reaped the benefits of participating in the OPTIMISE programme:

For further information on the companies we have worked with, please browse our case studies from previous years.

Expression of interest

If you are a sectoral organisation and are interested in participating in the OPTIMISE programme, please get in touch by emailing marketing@iedr.ie

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