Trading Online Vouchers

Trading Online Vouchers

Want to increase revenue?    

Get access to new markets?

Develop your online trading presence with support of up to €2,500. 

Apply to LEO Cavan for a Trading Online Voucher...

What is it?

A scheme funded through the Dept. of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources to support small Irish businesses to enhance their online trading presence.

Vouchers are funded to a maximum value of €2,500 or 50% of eligible expenditure, whichever is the lesser.

Voucher approval must be gained prior to incurring any expense and applications will be assessed by an evaluation committee.

Who is eligible?

Applicant businesses must be trading for at least 12 months, have no more than 10 employees, and annual turnover of less than €2million. Applicants to LEO Cavan must be based within the County.

When can I apply?

Applications are taken on a rolling basis.  You can download a form from our website. 

How do I apply?

Application Forms can be downloaded here

Applications should be submitted to LEO Cavan by email or by post.

For queries or to discuss eligibility or a potential application please contact us.

Tel:        049 4377200

Email:    localenterprise@cavancoco.ie

Post:      Local Enterprise Office Cavan

               Cavan Innovation and Technology Centre

               Dublin Rd

               Cavan

Local Trading Online Business Case Studies feature in The Anglo Celt, June 2016

The Trading Online Voucher Scheme offers small businesses and retailers the opportunity to apply for match funding to the value of €2,500, as well as training, mentoring and networking support to help them develop and improve their online trading presence.

Why do Irish businesses need to trade online?

Online spending in Ireland is growing at a rate of 17% per annum. The digital economy in Ireland, currently valued at around €7 billion, is set to grow to €21 billion by 2020. Today, Irish consumers spend around €850,000 per hour, 24 hours per day, online. Yet, with less than 25% of Irish SMEs currently trading online, up to 70% of this spend by Irish consumers goes overseas. Therefore, encouraging Irish businesses to trade online is a key economic and jobs imperative.

What are the benefits of the Trading Online Voucher scheme?

The Trading Online Voucher scheme offers small businesses a chance to get financial support and access to the expertise they need to develop and engage online customers.

Local Trading Online Voucher Business Case Studies - The Olde Post Inn and Agridirect

Local business owners, Gearoid and Tara Lynch, run The Olde Post Inn restaurant with six en-suite rooms, in Cloverhill, Co. Cavan. They applied to LEO Cavan for support under the TOV scheme as they were extending their existing restaurant business to include a new cookery cottage with associated courses, videos and cook book. With their new e-commerce website in place, their customers can now purchase their cook book, cookery classes and gift vouchers and view their cookery demonstration videos, all online. Tara and Gearoid say that their improved online presence and ecommerce capabilities have allowed them to offer new products, open up new markets and promote their business through their online book sales and videos.

Gearoid and Tara are delighted to report that their new website “is generating a lot of new interest and we have already achieved our first book sales across the world from Cavan to Galway, the UK and even Australia!” In addition, Gearoid and Tara have benefitted from the learning experience of growing online and are eager to develop further this new dimension to their business. Speaking about the application process, Tara said that they “found the application and approval process quite straightforward and the Local Enterprise Office was very accommodating”   www.chefgearoidlynch.ie

Reports of the Trading Online Voucher scheme to date show that, by moving online, small businesses are experiencing a 20% average increase in sales and 80% increase in business leads. Three out of every five participating business have begun exporting and job numbers have increased by 35%, with over 70% of business expecting to recruit new staff as part of their trading online project. Meanwhile, 80% of participating businesses surveyed report that being involved in the scheme has helped them with their overall business strategy planning.

Another Cavan entrepreneur, Martin Kennedy of Agridirect, headquartered in Ballyconnell, had an existing ecommerce website which needed redeveloping. Martin recognised that he needed to provide his customers with a better online experience, particularly his customers relying on mobile devices. Martin says “the Trading Online Voucher allowed us to put a larger budget towards this development and bring our site to a higher level of usability. This development also benefited us from an SEO perspective and helps us to be easily found in search engines like Google. As a result, we have seen a huge increase in the mobile traffic on our site and we were previously not getting the benefit from these customers. Since launching our easy to use mobile version of Agridirect, we have found that customers have a better shopping experience, find it easier to find the product they are looking for, which in turn leads to a better conversion rate.”

Martin reports substantial growth in sales and increased employment as a result of his enhanced online trading presence: “In the last year we have found that our traffic online has doubled. We are currently experiencing 100% growth from last year with our online sales. To facilitate this we are building a dedicated team around Agridirect Online and we have taken on two additional employees this year. We are reaching a wider customer base which has brought significant growth to our business which we would not have seen without our online business. It has transformed us from a local business to a national business. We are now supplying customers in all parts of Ireland and by working with a good courier service we can provide our customers with next day delivery anywhere in Ireland.

The company is also now looking forward to building an international customer base and increasing their product range: “We have had some level of exports to UK & France and this is a market we are currently looking at exploiting a little more in the second half of 2016. We also intend to increase our product range significantly by the end of 2016 to meet the demands of our growing customer base.

Furthermore, Martin is keen to point out the growth and development of the business in other areas: “As a business, Agridirect online has brought a lot of new challenges to the management of the company. However, it has also brought a new level of excitement and expectation into the business. We are now looking for new skills to help develop our business nationally and internationally.   It has created a new opportunity for growth for a small family business in West Cavan where the sky is the limit.” www.agridirect.ie

 

Who is eligible to avail of this scheme?

Since the introduction of the scheme in 2014, over 2000 Trading Online Vouchers have been issued to small business nationwide. Among the sectors availing of the scheme are retail (24%), professional services (14%) manufacturing (9%), arts, crafts and design (8%) and food (6%).

Developed as a partnership between the Department of Communications, the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Local Enterprise Offices and Enterprise Ireland, the scheme is open to businesses that are trading for over 12 months, have a limited online trading presence, less than 10 employees and annual turnover of less than €2 million.

Speaking about the opportunity afforded by the TOV scheme, Marcella Rudden, Acting Head of Enterprise in Local Enterprise Office Cavan says “International research shows that SMEs who adopt online trading, grow twice as fast and export twice as much as their offline competitors. The TOV scheme offers a major opportunity for Cavan retailers and SMEs to grow their business and we encourage all sectors to take up this opportunity and apply before the 22nd June deadline”.

If you are interested in applying for a Voucher to fund the development or upgrade of your online trading presence, please contact LEO Cavan without delay:

Tel: 049 43 77200

Email: localenterprise@cavancoco.ie

 

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