70pc of small businesses that have signed up for the Irish Government’s Trading Online Voucher Scheme expect to hire more staff and predict a jobs-dividend of almost 15pc through e-commerce.
The Trading Online Voucher Scheme was launched by the Government in 2014 to boost the number of small firms that exploit the growing digital economy.
It offers small businesses a grant of up to €2,500 – subject to matching funding – as well as training, mentoring and networking support to help them develop their online trading capability.
The Growing Small Businesses Through Online Trade report also shows that small firms that start to trade online, or develop their existing online presence, experience an 85pc boost in customer inquiries and a 21pc average increase in sales.
Firms that embraced e-commerce expect to create 1.4 new jobs per company
Out of 225 companies that received Online Trading Vouchers, some 85pc saw an increase in customer enquiries and a 21pc average increase in sales.
Some 71pc expect to recruit new staff to cope with new business
An average of 1.4 jobs per company are expected to be created among businesses that employ less than 10 people.
Some 60pc said that the new business was additional and did not displace existing sales.
Irish consumers now spend almost €700,000 online each hour, according to Communications Minister Alex White TD.
“The Government’s support for online trading is making a tangible impact on jobs and economic activity in Ireland.
“This survey shows that seven out of 10 firms supported by the scheme expect to take on new staff, with the potential creation of an average 1.4 new jobs per company. This represents an increase of almost 15pc on average as all the businesses surveyed employ fewer than 10 staff,” Minister White said.
Small businesses in Kinsale image via Shutterstock