“We couldn’t have made applying for awards any easier for busy SMEs” –David Curtin, CEO, IEDR
Fifteen companies can each win prizes of 10 days of professional consultancy, training and development, from a total fund of €150,000, in this year’s IEDR sponsored OPTIMISE Awards programme The closing date for the awards, made to companies that want to improve their e-commerce capabilities, is the 27th June 2014.
Now in its fourth year the OPTIMISE Fund has already benefitted a total of 45 small businesses across all industries and from all parts of the country who have had free professional consultation, practical training and e-commerce development from some of Ireland’s best known online business advisers. Entries may be submitted from any industrial sector and past winners include companies as diverse as natural yogurt makers Killowen Farm of Wexford, Orient Travel, Dublin and the Galway News newspaper. Each one of them has reported a substantial benefit for their businesses following the mentoring they received as their prize.
The awards are called the OPTIMISE Awards as each award gives small business owners the e-tools and know-how to ‘optimise’ their existing website and grow their business via the Internet. Applications are open to any Irish organisations classified as an SME or micro-enterprise with a .ie website that is currently accessible to the public. IEDR, the IE Domain Registry, manages the registry for Ireland’s official Internet address .ie.
Commenting, David Curtin, Chief Executive of IEDR, said: “IEDR wants to encourage all SMEs in Ireland to expand their businesses online, using the commercially trusted .ie domain address. We realise that SMEs are under huge pressure and that’s why we have made applying for these fifteen awards so straightforward. Our aim is quite simple, we want as many businesses as possible to have an online .ie presence.
“These are very practical awards that can be a game-changer for winners. The OPTIMISE Awards give hands-on, practical help that really makes a difference to small companies’ online potential. We match businesses’ needs with experts’ independent advice about the right tools and technologies that will create a better online experience for companies and their customers.
“For some, online sales and bookings will be a priority while greater customer engagement using social media will be a focus for others. Extending a business to e-commerce shouldn’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, sometimes international, business opportunities that can grow a company’s potential customer base from the 5 million people in Ireland to the 7,000 million people worldwide.”
For further details about the OPTIMISE Fund and how to apply, see www.iedr.ie/optimise. The closing date for receipt of entries is 27th June 2014.