With the trend ever increasing towards online spending it is estimated that only 23% of small Irish businesses are engaged in any meaningful way in e-Commerce sales.
For businesses employing less than ten people this percentage could be even lower. It is now believed that of online purchases made in Ireland that 70% of these are done in overseas markets.
There is now an urgency to ensure that businesses recognise that this is happening and that they are encouraged and supported to correctly respond to this digital reality.
What is it?
The voucher is a financial incentive to small businesses to develop or enhance their ability to trade online. Under the scheme a qualifying business may apply for matched funding to a maximum value of €2,500 or 50% eligible expenditure (exclusive of VAT), whichever is the lesser.
Following approval of their application, a successful applicant can engage suppliers and upon completion of the work, submit a request for payment to the LEO in line with the terms and conditions of their voucher.
What are the eligibility criteria?
The vouchers are targeted at businesses with the following profile:
- Limited Online Trading presence
- Less than 10 employees
- Turnover less than €2m
- Applicant business must be registered and trading for at least 12 months
- Business must be located in one of the pilot areas under this phase of the scheme
What are ineligible projects for this scheme?
- Companies with charitable status, commercial semi-state companies, trade associations and company representation bodies such as Chambers of Commerce are not eligible to participate in the scheme
- "Not for profit" and social entrepreneurship applicants unless they operate in a commercial domain
- Professional services specialising in IT type services who are already capable of trading online using existing in-house systems
- Conferences and Seminars
- Projects which are contrary to public policy
- Duplication of support for projects which would be eligible for assistance from other State Agencies of EU funded Operational Programmes
- Projects with employees in excess of 10 people
- Projects deemed to be capable of proceeding in any event without scheme assistance i.e. deadweight
- Projects essentially comprising importation and distribution
What the vouchers can be used for:
- IT consultation
- Development or upgrade of an e-commerce website
- Implementing Online payments or booking system;
- Purchase of Internet related software
- Purchase of online advertising (this purchase cannot make up any more than 30% of approved Voucher costs and can only be drawn down in one payment phase)
- Developing an app (or multiplatform webpages)
- Implementing a digital marketing strategy
- Development ofa digital marketing strategy
- Training/skills development specifically to establish and manage an on-line trading activity
What the vouchers cannot be used for:
- Development of brochure websites
- Purchase of non-internet related software
- Anything other than online trading related activity
The trading online voucher scheme is an initiative of the National Digital Strategy, developed and funded by the Department of Communication, Energy and Natural Resources on behalf of Government. It is being administered by the Local Enterprise Offices on a pilot basis
In order to make an application you need to download the application form below and submit to your nearest Local Enterprise Office. Don't hesitate to contact us if you have any queries on the application process.
Find your LEO
Download Application Form (Online Version)
Download Application Form (Printable Version)