Google and LEO network offer free digital skills webinars to SMEs

12 Jul 2021

Image: © Kateryna/

The webinars are part of Google’s Digital Garage scheme, which brings free training to SMEs to help them grow their businesses online.

Google Ireland and the Local Enterprise Office network (LEO) have teamed up to provide a series of free webinars to help small businesses build their online presence.

The free webinars have been taking place over the last three weeks across the LEO network.

The webinars are part of Google’s Digital Garage scheme, which brings free training to SMEs to help them grow their businesses successfully online and provides free resources and supports to help them overcome the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Last year, the Local Enterprise Offices approved more than 13,000 trading online vouchers, to help small businesses improve their digital skills and sell virtually while physical doors were shut.

The webinar series is part of a ‘Look for Local’ campaign aimed at boosting the online profiles of small businesses which is supported by Enterprise Ireland and local authorities.

Padraic McElwee, chair of the LEO network, said: “By partnering with Google on this initiative, it gives small businesses across the country the opportunity to access vital digital skills training to help them enhance their presence online so they are visible to more customers intent on supporting the local economy.”

Alice Mansergh, director of small business at Google Ireland said: “We are delighted to partner with the Local Enterprise Offices to offer widespread access to the Digital Garage for small businesses. Look for Local is a great campaign that will encourage more consumers to support local businesses, whether at home or while on staycation, but businesses need to be ready to leverage this support.”

The webinars will be available to all small businesses across the country through the Local Enterprise Office network once the series concludes later this week.

To date, more than 2,000 viewers from across the country have accessed the webinars.

The training events are hosted by experts in marketing and selling online from Google who teach attendees to use Google Analytics, a free tool that helps businesses track their engagement with their target audiences.

Digital Garage is part of Google’s global business support initiative, Grow with Google, through which the company has committed to provide digital support for 60,000 Irish SMEs and free training for 40,000 people by the end of this year.

Both McElwee and Mansergh added that the skills business owners learn at these webinars would stand to them in the near future, with Mansergh hoping they would enable attendees to “expand their reach among new customers” this summer and beyond.

For more information see the Look for Local section of the LEO website.

Blathnaid O’Dea is Careers reporter at Silicon Republic