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Healthy Living from Athy, County Kildare has today been announced as one of the 15 winners of the IE Domain Registry’s (IEDR) 2016 OPTIMISE Fund following a nationwide campaign. Currently valued at €125,000, the OPTIMISE Fund provides 10 days’ worth of digital consultancy, training and development to each of the 15 successful SMEs to enhance their e-commerce offering and online presence.
Celebrating the announcement, Kevin of Healthy Living thanked the local community for their support throughout the campaign: “We are thrilled to be one of this year’s OPTIMISE Fund winners. We know that people are spending more and more time online and that, as a business, we need to be more active and engaged with customers in this space if we are to stay relevant. As a local business, being able to optimise our website opens up a whole new digital marketplace and is a genuine opportunity for us to reach new customers and grow our business.
“I would like to thank all of the people of Athy who got behind us, especially those that took the time to go online and vote for us to win. Our customers are at the heart of everything that we do, and this funding will go a long way in helping us to inject some new life into our website to give our customers an even better online experience.”
Launched in 2011, the IEDR’s OPTIMISE Fund works shoulder-to-shoulder with Irish SMEs and micro-enterprises to improve their online presence by making greater use of existing web technologies and becoming e-commerce enabled.
To date, the OPTIMISE Fund has provided training, development and support services to the value of €750,000 to 75 Irish SMEs and micro-enterprises to improve their website and online sales capabilities.
Irish SMEs are still slow to engage in e-commerce despite the majority of Irish consumers buying and transacting online every day. Although 72% of SMEs now have a website, an incredible 1 in 6 SMEs still have no website, social media account, or any online presence whatsoever, according to the IEDR’s recently published dot ie Digital Health Index1. Of this cohort of ‘offliners’, more than 1 in 3 (35%) said that they didn’t have enough time to build a website, while almost 1 in 10 (9%) said that they lacked expertise. For more than 1 in 4offline SMEs (27%), a poor internet connection is keeping them offline.
To find out more about the OPTIMISE Fund, log on to www.iedr.ie/optimise.