Business support group’s new digital skills course to support Irish SMEs

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Enterprise Nation has teamed up with Microsoft, Vodafone and Klarna to launch a new free-to-access digital training programme to support small businesses in Ireland.

The business support group’s ‘Go and Grow Online’ programme is a one-year training course providing business owners with supports to accelerate digital, sales, CRM and financial skills. Topics including cybersecurity, digital marketing and cloud skills will also be covered.

Enterprise Nation is London-based and all training will be delivered virtually. It hopes to support up to 20,000 SMEs in total through the scheme. In the UK, it supports around 50,000 SMEs. Irish businesses who take part in Go and Grow Online will have access to the group’s platform and the supports provided including workshops, e-learning, and access to digital advisers.

Go and Grow Online launched today in Ireland at StartUp 2022, a virtual event for Irish small business owners. Enterprise Nation’s founder, businesswoman Emma Jones, brought the course here to cater to demand for online digital skills training. The demand is coming from Irish SME owners, many of whom founded their companies in response to the pandemic.

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“We are witnessing a once-in-a-generation opportunity for small businesses. The events of the last two years have fundamentally altered the way we live, and created markets that simply didn’t exist beforehand. You need look no further than the transition from offline to online selling,” Jones commented.

She added that the acceleration of digital technology and social media had “levelled the playing field, providing virtual marketing platforms and marketplaces for every business to connect directly with their audience – wherever in the world they may be.”

A well-known entrepreneur, commentator and author, Jones founded Enterprise Nation in 2005. She is also co-founder of enterprise campaign StartUp Britain.

Last May, Enterprise Nation collaborated with Facebook Ireland to deliver online training to thousands of SMEs as part of the social media giant’s The Boost with Facebook programme.

Once public health restrictions allow, there will be in-person drop-in sessions around the country for SME owners to network. Irish tutors include Paddy McDermott founder of Bax & Max, Feedalpha’s Gary Evans and Jacinta Dempsey founder of Thesocialnetwork.

Bax & Max is a business consultancy based in Galway. Digital agency Feedalpha and social media management and consultancy agency Thesocialnetwork are both Carlow based.

Aisling Flanagan, founder of Velvet Cloud Sheep’s Milk Yogurt and Cheese, who is joining Go and Grow Online said that “To have experts advising on digital and social selling as well as areas like finance is a major boost for me and my business.”

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