Website Grant for Irish Entrepreneurs
Did you know that Irish entrepreneurs are eligible for a €2,500 grant for website development?
Under the Government’s National Digital Strategy, an over-arching system of projects designed to secure a notable digital spot for Ireland and its businesses, your local enterprise office will grant you 50% of website development cost as long as you provide the remaining 50% of the funds and the total does not exceed €2,500. If you have already taken advantage of this lucrative offer, you are now eligible for a second voucher you can use to improve what you’ve already built up.
The Trading Online Voucher Scheme is just one of many ways in which the Irish Government has put its National Digital Strategy into action and through which it helps secure a place for Irish business on the world web. The Trading Online Voucher Scheme offers entrepreneurs and their fledgling businesses financial assistance as well as training and advice to ensure the business’ online trading turns into a lucrative endeavour. Its purpose is to assist small businesses with up to ten employees broaden their online trade, increase their sales, and spread to new markets. Your LEO may grant you up to €2,500 as long as your business funds 50% of the cost. This is a rare opportunity and it should be on your radar.
If you have already benefited from the Trading Online Voucher Scheme, you may reapply if you wish to use another opportunity to further improve your online trading capacity. The second application also requires the business to cover 50% of the cost. The additional funding may be used for adding payment facilities or booking systems to the business website, or developing new applications for your customers, as an example. One may also choose to use their second voucher and subscribe to a low cost online retail platform which can help their business quickly establish a retail presence online.
How to get the Irish €2,500 grant for website development?
Many Irish businesses know they should start trading online if they want to remain competitive in the current market but are unsure of how and where to start. In this article, we attempt to break it down for you as simply as possible and hope it enables you to broaden the sphere of your business.
Why does this grant exist?
On average, Irish consumers spend around €850,000 per hour online. Market analysis shows that an increasing number of people worldwide are shopping online and it’s been estimated that only thirty per cent of small Irish businesses are productively engaged in online sales. For businesses as small as ten employees or fewer, this percentage is likely even lower. It is now assumed that out of all online purchases made by Irish consumers up to seventy per cent is done through foreign markets. This has created an emergency to ensure that national businesses recognise this as an opportunity and to encourage them to make their moves in the digital marketplace.
In support of this goal, the national Government of Ireland has developed its National Digital Strategy aiming to get more Irish businesses trading online.
The Irish Government employed the Strategy to develop dozens of smaller projects and initiatives aiming towards the aforementioned goal. In the same token and under the same umbrella, the Department of Communication, Climate Action, and Environment (the DCCAE) has launched the Trading Online Voucher Scheme with the collaboration of the local enterprise offices (LEOs) in order to deliver this opportunity to Irish businesses. The number of vouchers is limited and businesses must fulfil certain criteria to be considered eligible for the grant. Entrepreneurs who wish to take advantage of this opportunity must also attend an information seminar. Each seminar will inform the participants of the purpose of the project and the best ways to use and get value from the application of the TOV.
What is a Trading Online Voucher?
Trading Online Voucher (TOV) is a small, state-supplied financial incentive for small businesses with ten employees or fewer, less than €2 million annual turnover, and which have been on the market for the last six months or longer. The Trading Online Voucher has been designed to stimulate the applicant entrepreneurs to develop an online presence for their business. The Voucher is administered through your Local Enterprise Office and takes the form of matched funding limited at €2,500 or 50% of the eligible cost (whichever is lesser), exclusive of VAT.
What criteria does the entrepreneur have to meet to be considered eligible for the TOV?
- The Voucher is administered through your Local Enterprise Office and takes the form of matched funding limited at €2,500 or 50% of the eligible cost (whichever is lesser), exclusive of VAT.
- The Voucher approval must be obtained prior to incurring any expenses.
- Own labour is not considered an eligible expense.
- Third party costs only may be considered.
- All third-party/supplier invoices must contain proper business details (such as tax and business registration details)
What criteria does the business have to meet to be considered eligible for TOV?
In order to qualify for receiving a Voucher, your business must fit the following requirements:
- The business has ten or fewer employees;
- The business has limited or no digital presence;
- The annual turnover is less than two million Euros;
- The business must have been trading for at least six months;
The business must be located in an area covered by the LEO where the application is submitted (LEOs cannot accept applications for businesses located outside of their jurisdiction)
What can TOV be used for?
- IT consultation;
- Development or upgrade of an e-commerce website;
- Implementing online payment or booking systems;
- Purchase of internet-related business software;
- Purchase of online advertising (this purchase cannot make up more than thirty per cent of the approved TOV amount and may only be drawn down in one payment phase);
- Developing an app or multi-platform web page;
- Implementing a digital marketing strategy via social media or other;
- Consultation with ICT experts for early-stage adopters of online strategy;
Training and skill development specifically targeted at establishing and managing online trading activity.
80% Online Retail Scheme
What things does one need to consider when inquiring about Supplier quotes?
- Cheaper is not always better.
- First impressions matter.
- Avoid Suppliers who offer to provide you with a quote without knowing your full requirements. You shouldn’t purchase goods or services without knowing what exactly you are going to get for your money.
- When planning your business website, we recommend you avoid focusing on the appearance of the web page. You also ought to consider its functions, layout, etc. Your goal is to be easily found via Google search through the keywords relating to your business. This strategy is referred to as SEO or Search Engine Optimisation. You want your website to be accessible to a wide range of people, not only those who are already familiar with your business and/or website. You will want to be recognized for what your business does, so your goal is to appear in Google search results tied to certain key phrases and keywords concerning your business.
- Browse your favourite websites and try to estimate and note what it is that you like the most about their look, feel, and function. This is best done via a desktop as you can see the layout properly. Pay attention to what is found in their menu, the way the business describes itself, attempt to identify the keywords you searched for on the page, etc. Performing some basic research of your own will help you visualise your website more clearly.
We wish you the best of luck in your business endeavours and invite you to contact us directly for any further information and help.