Cera Ward, Country Manager, Large Customer Sales UK & Ireland with Google; Marie Davis, Head of Google Customer Solutions Ireland; Jonathan McMillan, Head of the Brexit Unit, Enterprise Ireland
Google announced the launch of a new Grow with Google programme in Ireland which will see the company train more than 8,000 SMEs through workshops across Ireland and through partnerships with state agencies.
Grow with Google is a global initiative that builds on our efforts of training people and businesses to acquire the right digital skills to embrace new opportunities ahead. Last year, over 4,000 people from companies across Ireland attended Google’s monthly Business Breakfast in its EMEA HQ in Dublin, and 500 people attended regional workshops in Cork, Limerick and Shannon.
This year, due to demand, Google, in partnership with Enterprise Ireland, is expanding the programme to include 5 regional workshops as well as 11 workshops in the Google Foundry in Dublin.
In addition, Grow with Google is partnering with Enterprise Ireland to provide digital skills training to their executives so they can help their client companies to use the many free digital tools available to be more successful and to help them meet the challenges arising from Brexit. Cera Ward, Country Manager, Large Customer Sales UK & Ireland with Google said,
SMEs generate more than 70% of all jobs in the non-financial business economy and a strong indigenous business sector is particularly important for the labour market in Ireland. Our common objective is to work with Irish companies so they can grow and create new jobs in local communities throughout Ireland.
She continued, ” And ensuring businesses and their employees have access to digital tools and training is critical to delivering on it. Our Grow with Google programme has already trained more than 2 million people in digital skills across the EU and we are committed to ensuring Irish people and companies are at the forefront of digital.”
Results from training
Ms Ward said that Impact research data, provided by Ipsos shows that on average across Europe, 58% of companies that participated in Grow with Google programmes saw at least one positive impact on their business (More revenue, more profits, more customers, began exporting) while 68% felt more confident about their digital skills and 70% reporting that they have applied at least one change to their online presence as a result of the training. “In 2017 in Europe alone, we saw 91,000 jobs impacted, 13,000 SMBs taking on more staff and 178,000 SMBs attributing real impact on their business growth”, she said.
Jonathan McMillan, Head of the Brexit Unit, Enterprise Ireland commented;
Enterprise Ireland is actively supporting Irish companies to respond to the challenges and opportunities posed by Brexit and we are delighted to partner with Google on this digital programme to support businesses to go global. In preparing for Brexit, the top measures, we see being taken by Irish companies include improving operational competitiveness, focusing on innovation through investment in R&D and diversifying their export markets.
“With a market population of 300 million, Enterprise Ireland has placed a particular focus on the opportunities the Eurozone presents including currency stability, common and mutually recognised standards and minimal customs for Irish companies looking to export and we will continue to actively encourage Irish businesses to think of the Eurozone as an extension of their home market.”
Upskilling for exporters
Companies attending the Grow with Google workshops will also be trained in MarketFinder, Google’s free online tool launched last year. Market Finder is a free platform that guides businesses along every step of their export journey, leveraging Google’s data and partners’ expertise. Market Finder’s interactive pathway helps users pinpoint a shortlist of promising new markets and tap into deep, country-specific insights, from monthly product searches to popular market trends. It gives businesses a head start on international marketing strategy as well as supporting them with their business operations, including customer care, payments, and trade legalities.
Marie Davis, Head of Google Customer Solutions Ireland, added;
Whilst SMEs across Europe want to export to grow their business and create more job opportunities, they face important roadblocks: 70% of SMEs lack market insights to find the best target markets, +60% report challenges adapting their product to local cultures and +35% find logistics and recruitment to be key hurdles.
“With the right tools and support offered by Market Finder, the barriers to international expansion have never been lower. This is Google’s message to SMEs: no matter what you sell, what size you are, or where you’re based, you can use our free Market Finder tool to grow your business and gain new customers around the world”.