The IE Domain Registry (IEDR ), the managed registry for Ireland’s official Internet address .ie, has announced that its 2013 OPTIMISE e-commerce Website Development Fund is open for entries and is encouraging Galway based companies to apply.
IEDR is calling on SME and micro-business owners in Galway and nationwide to apply for one of 20 places on this year’s OPTIMISE Fund. The OPTIMISE Fund provides €150,000 worth of professional consultation, training and development support services to small business owners looking to improve and develop their existing online presence in terms of e-commerce capability and functionality. IEDR has doubled the number of winners of the Fund to 20 since it was first established in 2011.
Applications are open to all Irish organisations classified as an SME or micro-enterprise with a .ie website that is hosted online and currently accessible to the public. Further details about the Fund and the online application form are available at www.why.ie/optimise The closing date for receipt of entries is 25 April 2013.
Under IEDR’s OPTIMISE Fund, the 20 successful companies will have their e-commerce needs and objectives assessed to create a customised plan designed to help begin the process of improving their existing online presence. The objective of the OPTIMISE Fund is to provide e-commerce related tangible benefits and know-how for small business owners and implement changes to their websites to enable the use of practical transactional tools and technologies to tap into the online marketplace, broaden customer reach, generate sales and increase profitability.
The IEDR established the OPTIMISE Fund to raise awareness of the fact that Irish companies remain slow to harness the potential of the Internet. The companies it has supported during this time range from small family businesses to emerging start-ups and more established, traditional organisations spanning a range of industries including tourism, sporting and cultural attractions, fashion retail, data management and business services.
Previous winners from Galway include www.galwaybeaddesign.ie, selling loose beads, handmade customised and ready-to-wear jewellery, as well as www.galwaynews.ie and www.elementsoftware.ie, a smartphone and mobile application development company established in 2011.
Discussing this year’s OPTIMISE Fund, David Curtin, Chief Executive of IE Domain Registry, said: “IEDR’s OPTIMISE Fund is about helping companies make the transition to e-commerce enabled websites in a very practical way. Our experience shows that with the right training, tools and technologies, such as real-time payments and booking facilities, it is possible for small companies to access new customers and markets at home and abroad and to grow their business using the online marketplace.
“Unfortunately, Irish companies remain slow to do this and without e-commerce enabled websites, they are continuing to lose out online. I would therefore encourage any small business owner with a .ie website looking to take the next step to apply online today at www.why.ie/ optimise.”