You probably have noticed, especially around Christmas when shopping is of essence, more and more purchases are being made online. However, only 23 % of small Irish businesses use e-commerce, meaning thousands of small Irish businesses are still offline, which causes almost 70% of all purchases in Ireland to go to businesses abroad.

The IE Domain Registry has founded the OPTIMISE e-Commerce Website Development programme which encourages small and medium enterprises (SME) to get their business online.

“Now in its fifth year, OPTIMISE is evolving too and we are excited to extend our support to offline businesses for the first time. I’d strongly encourage SMEs to take a leap of faith, apply for a place and let IEDR help them to realise their online potential this year,” says David Curtin, chief executive of IEDR.

Anybody can apply, even for businesses currently without a website, the IEDR offers financial, technical, marketing and development support for 15 small Irish firms this year. The application process starts on March 2nd 2015. For more details go to

The IEDR programme runs in tandem with the Government’s National Digital Strategy umbrella which also works in partnership with Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Office network (LEO). The LEO Online Trading Voucher Scheme offers the opportunity to develop your website or marketing strategy of up to €2,500 or 50% of the overall cost.

For more information go to