Galway’s Wonky Woolins wins You’re The Business digital acceleration initiative

Salthill-based Wonky Woolins is one of ten businesses to receive a suite of customised supports and €1,000 worth of online ad funding.

Google, Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices have announced that Wonky Woolins is one of the ten businesses that secured a truly unique, money-can’t-buy prize as part of the You’re The Business campaign launched last year. ‘You’re the Business’ is a programme that aims to accelerate Irish SME growth through digitalisation.

The Wonky Woolins is a small handmade soft toy business creating quirky and unique characters, using founder Chloe Gardiner’s own designs and patterns. Founded in 2018 by then 15-years old Chloe, as a school project, the award-winning business prides itself on creating toys that are handmade to last for generations.

Salthill-based Wonky Woolins will receive a customised suite of digital supports from Google, expert sector and industry-specific mentoring across a range of technical areas that will help the ten SMEs to further develop their business. The selected businesses will also receive a €1,000 Google ads package each.

Speaking at the announcement, Chloe Gardiner, owner, Wonky Woolins said: “In 2023, I want to significantly raise the profile of The Wonky Woolins online. However, I have limited experience of leveraging this platform. Winning this competition provides our business with access to Google expertise which will be invaluable to help me develop and implement a digital strategy that will raise my brand’s profile online.”

Research conducted by Google, developed in partnership with Amárach for the launch of You’re The Business last year found that almost half of SMEs believe they could more than double their turnover (40% ) and profitability (45% ) with an investment in digital skills. But, the research also showed that more than one in every ten SMEs based in Ireland (11% ) are not yet using digital technology in their business - almost half (45% ) of SMEs do not have their own website.

Alice Mansergh, Director for Small Business at Google, said Ireland is home to more than 250,000 small businesses like Wonky Woolins, providing employment and services right across the country.

“Small businesses are at the heart of towns and communities across Ireland. With over 90% of Irish consumers now active online, businesses of all shapes and sizes stand to gain by ensuring they have their ‘online shop window’ - their website, their online profile - working well. At Google, we’ve been proud to partner with Enterprise Ireland and Local Enterprise Offices to bring help and support nationwide through ‘You’re The Business’.

“The programme offers free trainings for all available on the You’re The Business website. We had a tough time picking 10 lucky winners to receive an even more customised prize package, such was the high standard of entries. My huge congratulations to Wonky Woolins: we’re excited to support their business vision and next chapter of growth online.”

Richard Murphy, Enterprise Ireland said: The You’re the Business initiative has been a significant boost to SMEs across the country. To be able to open up Google’s expertise in digital and online promotion to all businesses is a huge step forward in helping these companies to maximise their online presence. Both Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices have been working closely with clients supporting their journey’s to get online and grow online and this will only help those companies further. To the winners we wish continued success and we look forward to supporting them as they grow both here in Ireland and hopefully internationally in the years to come.”

Padraic McElwee, Local Enterprise Offices said the impact of digital for small businesses has never been so keenly felt than over the recent years.

“Many companies have had to become more agile, more digitally adept to survive and thrive. Having helped thousands to get online with our Trading Online Vouchers during the pandemic, this was an opportune time to help these businesses upskill utilising the expertise of Google alongside our partners Enterprise Ireland.

“The response to the You’re The Business campaign has been phenomenal up and down the country and to be able to open up these online resources to our clients has had a huge impact this year and will do in years to come. I want to congratulate all the winners and no doubt they will go from strength to strength on the back of this partnership.”

Launched last year, You’re the Business - a partnership between Google, Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices - focuses on supporting Irish SMEs to upskill digitally and enhance their online capabilities.

It continues to provide Irish SMEs with access to a series of live and on-demand training sessions, geared towards supporting companies at all stages of their digitalisation journey, including those at early stages right through to those more digitally-sophisticated businesses. The training consists of three modules that will help businesses understand how they can use digital to get online, grow online and expand internationally.

For further information on the winners and the You’re The Business initiative, please


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