Even though there is currently an increasing trend in online spending it is estimated that only 23% of small Irish businesses use eCommerce in any meaningful way. It is estimated that of all online purchases made in Ireland 70% are done in overseas markets.
There is a critical need to encourage small Irish businesses to develop their digital presence to avoid missed opportunities. In order to support this goal, the Department of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources (DCENR) has launched a Trading Online Voucher Scheme and has teamed up with the Local Enterprise Offices to roll out the scheme under the National Digital Strategy.
The Trading Online Voucher Scheme offers small businesses the opportunity to develop their website or digital marketing strategy by availing of vouchers of up to €2,500 or 50% of eligible expenditure.
- Vouchers will be available to a maximum value of €2,500 or 50% of eligible expenditure (Exclusive of VAT), whichever is the lesser
- Voucher approval must be gained prior to incurring any expense
- Own labour is not an eligible expense
- Third party costs only will be considered
- All third party/supplier invoices must contain proper business details (e.g. Tax and Business Registration details).
- Limited Online Trading presence
- Less than 10 employees
- Turnover less than €2m
- Applicant business must be registered and trading for at least 12 months
- Companies with charitable status, commercial semi-state companies, “not for profit” organisations, trade associations and company representation bodies such as Chambers of Commerce are not eligible to participate in the innovation voucher initiative
- Professional services specialising in IT type services who are already capable of trading online using existing in-house systems
- Conferences and Seminars
- Projects which are contrary to public policy
- Duplication of support for projects which would be eligible for assistance from other State Agencies of EU funded Operational Programmes
- Projects with employees in excess of 10 people
- Projects deemed to be capable of proceeding in any event without scheme assistance i.e. deadweight
- Projects essentially comprising importation and distribution
What the vouchers CAN be used for
- IT consultation
- Development or upgrade of an e-commerce website
- Implementing Online payments or booking systems
- Purchase of Internet related software
- Purchase of online advertising (this purchase cannot make up any more than 30% of approved Voucher costs and can only be drawn down in one payment phase)
- Developing an app (or multiplatform webpages)
- Implementing a digital marketing strategy i.e. Social media marketing
- Consultation with ICT experts for early stage adopters of online strategy
- Training/skills development specifically to establish and manage an on-line trading activity
What the vouchers CANNOT be used for
- Development of brochure websites
- Purchase of non-internet related software
- Anything other than online trading related activity
How To Apply
- In order to apply for a Trading Online Voucher you must first attend a half day Information Seminar on how to use and get the best value for money from the voucher.
- After attending the information session you should complete and submit the application form below.
Attendance at a training session is compulsory for all prospective applicants and a representative from your business must attend.
Information seminars are scheduled at regular intervals throughout the year. The next Trading Online Voucher Scheme Information Seminar is on:
Tuesday 30th May 2017 - Book Now
If you wish to be contacted with details of future Trading Online Voucher Scheme information session dates please email email@example.com
The objective of the information session is to ensure that participants understand how to get the best out of an e-commerce website and how to make the most of the Trading Online Voucher Scheme application process
Information seminars are free of charge and only one person from each eligible business can attend.
Download the Application Form for completion
IMPORTANT NOTE: Please note that your application form for a Trading Online Voucher can only be progressed after you attend a preliminary training course provided by the Local Enterprise Office.
See recent media article in Business Section of Sunday Independent
Advantages of Trading Online