Web giants helping local firms to make online presence felt
Google, Facebook and Paypal are acting as mentors to businesses taking part in a new programme designed to help Dublin firms take advantage of online trading.
The Dublin Chamber of Commerce and Dublin City Council have launched a pilot scheme that will assist 20 firms to get sales moving online.
Irish consumers spend about €4bn every year online, but just €1bn of that goes to Irish businesses.
Called 'Activating Dublin', the pilot scheme is giving the 20 businesses access to know-how from the three global internet firms. The pilot project is aiming to assist in the development of a national programme to get Irish businesses trading online. Only 23pc of Ireland's SMEs currently trade online.
"International research shows that SMEs who adopt online trading grow twice as fast and export twice as much as their offline competitors," said Minister for Enterprise, Jobs and Employment Richard Bruton.
"The development of the internet has provided Irish business with a fantastic platform on which to expand their business at a time when retrenchment might otherwise have been their only option," according to Ronan Harris, vice-president of large customer sales at Google.
Gina Quin, the chief executive of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce, said that the key element of the action plan is to get 40pc of SMEs online and e-commerce enabled. She claimed that could lead to the creation of 3,000 jobs within five years.