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A new scheme meant to help  Irish SMEs and retailers grow their e-commerce capabilities has opened for applications. The scheme, which is run by Enterprise Ireland, will allocate €1.25 million in funding to facilitate the acceleration of online retailer’s digital and e-commerce capabilities.

The scheme will see grants of between €10,000 and €25,000 awarded on a match fund basis with the specific purpose of supporting retailers to enhancing their online sales capabilities, ensuring they are better equipped to deal with increasing competition from overseas and help scale their businesses in international markets.

“Enterprise Ireland is committed to supporting Irish companies to realise their global ambition by providing the mentoring and financial support necessary to scale in international markets,” said Stephen Hughes, head of consumer, Enterprise Ireland.

“Ireland’s retail sector is a primary contributor to our economy, both nationally and at a regional level but it is under significant pressure, particularly from international competitors with the digital means to extend their reach to Irish consumers. By delivering the Online Retail Scheme, we intend to support Irish retailers to innovate and through innovation, to increase their competitiveness and enhance their online presence.”

“While no single intervention will solve the challenge posed by the emergence of digital commerce in recent years to traditional bricks and mortar retailers, today’s announcement marks a significant step forward by Government in firstly acknowledging the challenge faced by the Irish retail sector and secondly by beginning to put in place supports for Ireland’s largest private sector employer,” said Thomas Burke, director at Retail Ireland, the IBEC group which represents the retail industry.

The Online Retail Scheme is open to applications from retail SMEs with 20-249 employees across the island of Ireland, and who have a retail outlet. Closing date for applications is 5 December 2018.

Further information on the fund and details on how to apply are available at www.enterprise-ireland.com/retail.

 

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