Grants of Up to €2,500 Available For Online Trading & Digital Strategy Development

Online Trading Voucher LogoIf your business is based in Ireland, and you wish to enhance your website with the ability to trade online, take orders, bookings & payments online then your Local Enterprise Office (LEO) has announced a New Call (May 2015) for applications. Check your LEO for the deadline, but the ones we looked at appear to be around mid-May.

This grant seeks to help businesses who do not yet have a website, or whose website is very basic, to develop their websites and put in place a digital strategy. According to LEO, only 23% of small Irish businesses are engaged in any meaningful way in e-Commerce sales. Furthermore, the Irish people are continuing to increase their online spending, but an estimated 70% of this spend is with overseas businesses. The funding for this scheme is coming from the Department of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources, and is administered by the Local Enterprise Offices.

There is a limit of 2,000 on the number of applications which will be approved for 2015.

Eligibility Criteria

  • The vouchers/grants are up to a maximum value of €2,500 or 50% of the eligibile expenditure (excluding VAT), whichever is less
  • Voucher approval must be obtained before incurring any expense
  • Own labour is not an eligible expense
  • Only third party costs will be considered
  • All third party/supplier invoices must contain proper business details, e.g. Tax/VAT registration number, business registration details etc.)

Eligible Businesses

  • The business must have no or a very basic/limited online trading presence prior to application
  • The business must have less than 10 employees
  • Turnover less than €2 million
  • Business must be registered and trading for at least 12 months
  • Must be located within one of the LEO areas covered by the scheme

Ineligible Businesses/Projects

  • Companies with a charitable status, semi-states, not-for-profit organisations, trade associations etc.
  • Professional service businesses specialising in IT who are already capable of online trading
  • Conferences and seminars
  • Projects which are contrary to or conflict with public policy
  • Duplication of support for projects which would be eligible for assistance from other State Agencies of EU funded Operational Programmes
  • Projects which are deemed capable of proceeding without scheme assistance
  • Projects essentially comprising importation and distribution

The Online Trading Vouchers Can Be Used For

  • IT Consultancy expenses
  • Development or upgrade of an e-commerce website
  • Implementation of online payments or booking systems
  • Purchase of Internet-related software
  • Purchase of online advertising (this cannot exceed 30% of the approved voucher costs)
  • Development of an app, or multiplatform web pages
  • Implementation of a digital marketing strategy, i.e. social media marketing
  • Consultation with ICT experts or early stage adopters of online strategy
  • Training/skills development specifically for establishing and managing online trading activity

The Online Trading Vouchers Cannot Be Used For

  • Development of brochure websites, that is, websites which are informational only, with no online trading functionality
  • Purchasing non-Internet-related software
  • Spending on anything other than a product or service directly related to the implementation or management of online trading

If you wish to trade online, improve your e-commerce capability, accept online bookings/sell tickets online then Vendexo can help. Contact us today about taking advantage of this Online Trading Voucher Scheme.

Dublin City Enterprise Board Online Trading Voucher Scheme – PILOT now open

The Dublin City Enterprise Board (DCEB) has announced that in cooperation with the Irish Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, it will run a pilot scheme to assist small businesses to develop or upgrade their online presence, e-commerce and digital marketing capabilities.

In the first batch, 25 applications will be approved, with a further 25 in 2014.

The Minister Pat Rabbitte T.D. acknowledged the enormous opportunity for Irish businesses in the online space and warned of the significant risks for them if they do not develop an online trading capability.

Irish comsumers are increasing their online spend, with 3.7 billion Euro spent online last year, of which 70% was spent outside Ireland. Clearly Irish businesses need to do more to get a bigger share of this spend.

Vendexo, an Irish software business which provides businesses with the software technology to trade online and to grow their market share, is ready and able to help Irish businesses meet this challenge.

The deadline for receipt of applications by the DCEB is 12:00 noon, Friday 15th November 2013.

More information about the DCEB online trading voucher scheme.

Merchants can get up to €2,500 to set up online trading, Minister Rabbitte announces

Minister Mat Rabbitte T.D. announced on Budget Day 15th October 2013 funding of €5 million to set up a national trading-online voucher scheme aimed at getting 2000 small Irish businesses trading online.

“There is an enormous opportunity for Irish businesses in the online space and significant risks if they do not develop online trading platforms” Minister Rabbitte said. Irish consumers spent approximately €3.7bn online last year, of which 70% was spent outside Ireland. Less than 1 in 4 small Irish businesses are trading online. Research undertaken for the European Commission indicates that traditional businesses which have a meaningful online presence grow twice as fast, export twice as much and employ twice as many people. “In Ireland, where the digital economy represents 4.4% of GDP, there is a real opportunity for small businesses to grow. My ambition is to ensure that a much greater proportion of the online spend stays in Ireland, supports Irish businesses and creates jobs in this country. For that to happen many more Irish businesses need to offer services online”.

Src: Statement on Budget 2014.

To this end, vouchers of up to €2,500 will be provided to small companies to help them develop an online trading presence. These will be administered by local Enterprise boards, with an initial pilot being run by the Dublin City Enterprise Board targeting small businesses which employ less than 10 people and have a turnover of less than €2 million per annum. For more see DCENR. is a provider of e-commerce software to help small businesses sell online. Our solutions cost well below €2,500, so Irish merchants looking to set up on online 24×7 trading presence can do so without delay, either with or without one of these vouchers. For more information see – Irish Software powering E-commerce for Business.

Support for Stripe Payments is available in Ireland

Stripe Payments

Vendexo is pleased to announce that merchants in Ireland can now accept Visa, Mastercard and American Express credit/debit cards as payment methods in their online shops using Stripe Payments. Card numbers and security codes sent directly from the customer’s web browser directly to Stripe Payments, who are PCI compliant and audited to ensure such information is handled in a secure way.

The Stripe Payments system has a number of advantages for the online merchant:

  • The merchant is not required to be PCI compliant as the merchant never sees the customer’s credit card details. This responsibility is handled by Stripe Payments.
  • Stripe Payments’ fees are competitive. See Stripe Payments Pricing for more information.
  • The merchant does not have to have a “Merchant Service Agreement” with a card processing bank (also known as an “acquiring bank”) which can be expensive and slow to set up. Stripe Payments will send funds to the merchant’s normal bank account 7 days after the customer transaction.

Stripe currently supports merchants located in Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Vendexo provides a low-cost hosted e-commerce system for merchants to want to trade online, and now has support for Credit/debit cards via Stripe Payments fully integrated.