IEDR launches €100K fund for SMEs to optimise websites

24 Apr 2012

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, TD, and iEDR chief executive David Curtin at the announcement of the Optimise €100,000 fund for SMEs. Image by Shane O'Neill/Fennells

The IE Domain Registry (IEDR) is extending its €100,000 e-commerce website development fund for a second year. Ten SMEs and will get €10,000 worth of services to help ramp up their e-commerce strategies.

The IEDR, the managed registry for Ireland’s official internet address .ie, set up the fund last year to mark its 10th anniversary.

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, TD, launched the IEDR’s fund, known as Optimise, this morning.

Via this year’s fund, 10 SMEs or micro-enterprises will get €10,000 worth of consultation, training and e-commerce development support services to help strengthen their existing online presence.

Areas that the companies will be getting advice on will include embedding in real-time payments, online catalogues or booking facilities on their sites.

According to the IEDR, just 66pc of Irish businesses had a website by 2009, in comparison to the year 2000 when 40pc of Irish businesses had migrated online.

Of the 66pc that were online in 2009, the IEDR said only 21pc had any e-commerce capability. The registry said this was just a 3pc leap since 2000.

Applications for the fund will be accepted from any SME or micro-enterprise with a website that’s registered with a .ie domain name.

The closing date for applications is 25 May 2012.  

Recipients of last year’s funding included the Dublin-based fashion label As a result of the funding, it developed an online catalogue and new social media strategies to drive customers to its site.

Another recipient of last year’s funding was the National Leprechaun Museum, which went on to develop an e-commerce strategy, including an online shop to allow for ticket sales.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic