Google Ireland, Local Enterprise Offices to host webinar series for Irish SMEs
Google Ireland has partnered with the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) network to host a series of Digital Garage webinars for small businesses. The webinars have been taking place over the last three weeks across the LEO network and the final sessions will take place on 13-14 July.
Google’s Digital Garage brings free training to SMEs to help them grow their business successfully online and provides free resources and supports to help them overcome the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.
In 2020 the LEO approved 13,000 trading online vouchers, up over 950% from 2019, enabling small businesses to create an online presence and help them sell virtually while physical doors were shut.
The webinar series is being rolled out across the LEO network as part of its Look for Local campaign. Supported by Enterprise Ireland and the local authorities, the campaign was designed to help small businesses improve their online presence so they can benefit from opportunities brought by current consumer sentiment to support local economies. To date, over 2,000 viewers from across the country have accessed training by Google’s Digital Garage via the LEO network.
The training events will be hosted by experts in marketing and selling online, who will outline the simple ways to leverage Google Analytics, a free tool that helps businesses ensure they are reaching their target audience at the right times and in the right way.
“We are delighted to partner with the Local Enterprise Offices to offer widespread access to the Digital Garage for small businesses,” said Alice Mansergh, director of small business, Google Ireland. “Look for Local is a great campaign that will encourage more consumers to support local businesses, whether at home or while on staycation, but businesses need to be ready to leverage this support. Digital Garage webinars are designed to help businesses enhance their online skills to expand their reach among new customers and successfully tap into the sentiment of the campaign through the summer months and beyond.”
Both Google and the LEO regional offices are encouraging local businesses to participate and take advantage of the experts’ knowledge and insights.
Padraic McElwee, chair of the network of Local Enterprise Offices, said: “By partnering with Google on this initiative, it gives small businesses across the country the opportunity to access vital digital skills training to help them enhance their presence online so they are visible to more customers intent on supporting the local economy. Not only will these skills help businesses reach more customers now, but they will help them protect their business from future challenges. This partnership is a key cornerstone of our continuing campaign Look for Local which is a call to action for consumers to support businesses and jobs in their community.”
The series of Look for Local webinars will be available to all small businesses across the country, through the LEO network, once the series concludes later this week. The series is one of the many training and capacity building supports the LEOs have been engaged in with clients ahead of the reopening and scaling up of many of Ireland’s businesses over the summer months.
Digital Garage is part of Google’s global business support initiative, Grow with Google, that aims to help people and businesses acquire the skills needed to embrace the opportunities that technology presents in today’s working world. As part of Grow with Google, Google has committed support for 60,000 Irish SMEs and to provide free training to 40,000 people in digital skills by the end of 2021.
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