350 of Ireland’s mid-sized businesses today attended a Bank of Ireland ‘Enabling Enterprise’ event at the Foundry in Google’s EMEA HQ to gain insights into growing their online revenues and export business.
Companies in attendance were given insights into the Irish SME market with a presentation from Richie Boucher, CEO at Bank of Ireland while John Herlihy, head of Google in Ireland spoke about helping companies to develop digitally. Pat Rabbitte TD, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources also spoke at the event.
“I am pleased to see Bank of Ireland and Google forming this partnership to assist Irish businesses to trade online. This is a highly strategic area for Irish business. With 23% of all SME’s trading online Ireland is quite successful in comparison to many other EU countries. However we must do more if we are to boost SME exports, and, equally importantly to address import substitution. That is why the Government is taking action including the nationwide rollout of a scheme of “digital vouchers” designed to help small firms trade on-line,” said Pat Rabbitte, T.D. Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.”
Bank of Ireland is dedicated to supporting Ireland’s businesses to help foster and support their growth through a number of enterprise programmes and in addition to today’s event, it has teamed up with Google to provide 50 of the attendee companies with a customised 90-day programme. The programme will begin in September and is designed to support participating companies to develop their sales revenues digitally with a specific focus on export markets.
“We are delighted to have been able to partner with Google in staging this event in the Foundry. Ireland’s future economic growth will be heavily dependent on the SME sector and we are committed to supporting these companies as they develop their businesses both within Ireland and internationally,” said Gerry Prizeman, head of Enterprise Development at Bank of Ireland.
Fionnuala Meehan, managing director, SMB Sales North and Central Europe, Google facilitated a panel discussion with successful Irish online businesses SmartWall Paint, Riffstation and Phorest which showcased how they have used Google to grow their business and worked with Bank of Ireland to increase overseas trade.
“Consumers now have endless online and off-line options for researching and buying new products and services around the clock,” commented Meehan. “As a result, digital channels are critical for executing promotions, stimulating sales, and increasing market share. An estimated €4bn was spent by Irish consumers online in 2013 however 75% of that was spent on overseas websites. We want Irish businesses to be in a position to sell to Irish consumers and reclaim revenues that have been going to overseas websites but also to export their products and services beyond Ireland. By 2016, the web will influence more than half of all retail transactions, representing a potential sales opportunity of almost $2trn.”