I think it’s fair to say that all business sectors benefit from having a quality responsive website. Within each sector the business may range from a start-up right through to a longstanding multi-national.
As such, there are a wide range of opportunities to access funding, each designed to be suitable to the age and status of your business.
Typically they fall into one of the following categories.
- Private Enterprise Start Up
- Existing SME (Less than 10 employees)
- Existing SME (More than 10 Employees Less than 250)
Back to Work Enterprises
Back to Work Enterprise Allowance
The Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (BTWEA) scheme supports people who are in receipt of particular social welfare payments to become self-employed. The qualifying criteria for this scheme are as follows:
- Starting a new business a self-employed person
- The Business model is pre approved
- The applicant has been in receipt of Jobseeker’s Benefit or Jobseeker’s Allowance for the past 9 months or more.
Under this scheme you may avail of grant funding for many things that will assist you with your business, for the online side of things the allowance is €500 for Website registration, related services and production with a 20% contribution being made by the applicant.
1.Private Enterprise Start Up
Enterprise Ireland – Start-up Team
If you’re thinking about a new start-up business that has a product or service that is suitable for international markets, has the potential to create 10 jobs or more and has the potential to generate €1m or more in export sales within the first 3 years, then you may qualify for financial assistance from Enterprise Ireland as a High Potential Start-up.
2.Existing SME (Less than 10 employees)
Technical Assistance for Micro Exporters
Technical Assistance for Micro Exporter’s Grant enables clients to explore and develop new market opportunities. This grants part-funds the costs that can be incurred in investigating and researching export markets, e.g. exhibiting at Trade Fairs, preparing marketing material and developing websites specifically targeting overseas markets.
- Grant Covers 50% of eligible costs (net of vat) to a max of €2,500.
- Applications must be made prior to any expenditure being incurred
- Payments will be made to approved projects on receipt of proof of payment of all qualifying and approved expenses.
- Successful applicants should consider using an Enterprise Ireland Mentor to develop an export/marketing plan.
Projects eligible for support include:
Enterprises not employing more than 10 people
- Enterprises located within the geographic location of the Local Enterprise Office
- Enterprises operating in the commercial sphere
- Enterprises must demonstrate a market for their proposed product/service
- Enterprises engaged in manufacturing or internationally traded services
- Innovative businesses with prototype products
- Enterprises must not have received any funding for this proposal from any other source
Eligible Expenditure categories
- Participation at trade fairs and shows covering Trade Show Exhibitor costs including rental/fees relating to space/stands
- Participation at International trade networking events organised through the Enterprise Europe Network
- Development of specific Marketing Materials aimed at exploring new export markets
- Translation, e.g. of existing material (booklets, web-pages, etc. for export markets
- Development of export related websites
- Investigation of new internal or external processes to develop export business, e.g. new business model or the carrying out of non-regulatory technical requirements
LEO Trading Online Voucher Scheme
The “Trading Online Voucher Scheme” has been running for about 5 years now and so far has provided funding to over 2000 different Irish businesses.
In 2014 under the National Digital Strategy the Irish Government recognised that there weren’t enough Irish Businesses operating E-Commerce websites. At that time, 85% of all online spending in Ireland went to foreign retailers, as late as 2017 60% of online spending in Ireland still went to foreign retailers. (Hamilton, 2018)
So, the Irish Government under the National Digital Strategy designed the Online Trading Voucher Scheme aimed at “Optimising your business with an E-Commerce website” The government were really concerned about the amount of monies leaving Ireland considering that “The Irish people are the biggest international online shoppers in the world” and over the last few years the trend towards shopping online has grown in 2018
“Irish consumers spent approximately €7.8bn online, with this figure expected to exceed €10bn by 2020” (Hamilton, 2018)
“According to Government figures, businesses that participated in the LEO Trading Online Voucher Scheme reported a 20pc average increase in sales, with an 80pc spike in sales leads.” (Tannam, 2019)
Before you get too excited!
Your business must meet certain criteria, to qualify for the scheme, businesses must have:
- No more than 10 employees;
- Less than €2m in turnover;
- Be trading for at least 6 months
- Be located in the region of the Local Enterprise Office to whom they are applying.
*Find your local enterprise office here>>>
If you don’t meet these criteria you won’t be eligible for this funding:
Example: You run a retail business, employ 9 people, your turnover is less than €2,000,000 per annum and you are located in Cork, you apply to the LEO office in Cork for a Trading Online Voucher
The application will require that you get quotes from 3 different Web Developers, you supply these and some information about your business, attend one of their regular information sessions and all things being equal you are awarded the Online Trading Online Voucher.
Note: The LEO office does not decide or define who you work with, that is entirely up to you regardless of the difference in quote values.
NOTE: You can only get a refund on monies spent after your application has been processed and you have been accepted on the scheme.
3.Existing SME (More than 10 Employees Less than 250)
Enterprise Ireland – Established SME Funding
This section sets out the main funding supports and programmes for established small and medium sized enterprises in the manufacturing and internationally traded services sectors. An Established SME client is a company that is not a High Performance Start Up client, has an established trading record, the company (or its group of companies) employs between 10 and 250 employees, has either an annual turnover of less than €50m or an annual balance sheet of less than €43m.
Funding decisions are determined by the;
- Need for financial support for the project
- Potential employment and sales growth
- Previous funding provided to the company
- Regional location of the company
Generally speaking, if you haven’t accessed funding
recently, then you are most likely eligible for one of the funding
opportunities listed above. The one thing I wouldn’t do is to do nothing. Each and every day your company has a poor
website presence or worse still, no website presence, your competitors are rising above you!
Tannam, E. (2019, April 19th). Government announces funding for small businesses to boost e-commerce. Retrieved from Silicon Republic: https://www.siliconrepublic.com/companies/small-business-funding-ireland