The IE Domain Registry (IEDR) has announced the 15 Irish SMEs and micro-enterprises that will receive a share of its €150,000 OPTIMISE Fund following a nationwide outreach campaign.

This year’s 15 OPTIMISE Fund recipients are a diverse range of businesses, from an award-winning destination garden centre, a menswear boutique and an outdoor adventure holiday specialist to an on-demand laundry service, a family-run group tour operator and a ‘Living Café’. The businesses are spread across the country with locations in Cork, Dublin, Galway, Limerick, Mayo, Waterford and Wicklow.

Each of the 15 recipients of this year’s OPTIMISE Fund will now receive practical tools, training and services up to the value of €10,000 to enhance their existing websites and expand their online offering to include such tools as e-commerce.

The 15 OPTIMISE Fund recipients are:

  1. (Cork; award-winning destination garden centre)
  2. (Cork; family footwear business)
  3. (Cork; retailers of design-led homewares and gifts)
  4. (Cork; menswear boutique)
  5. (Cork; mass spectrometry specialists for clinical research)
  6. (Wicklow; outdoor adventure and activity holiday specialists)
  7. (Dublin; on-demand service company for laundry, ironing, dry cleaning, alterations and shoe repairs)
  8. (Dublin; family-run tour operator offering relaxed and informal group tours from Dublin)
  9. (Dublin; suppliers of packaging, print and LED systems solutions)
  10. (Dublin; self-funded, e-commerce start-up, offering low-cost printer ink cartridges and LaserJet toner cartridges)
  11. (Dublin; two multi-disciplinary clinics in Dublin with a wide range of services and a community outreach programme to promote health and fitness)
  12. (Dublin; social media monitoring and analysis agency)
  13. (Galway and Mayo; husband and wife owned vintage and antiques store)
  14. (Limerick and Waterford; ‘Living Café’ with a café, cookery school and furniture and home accessories store all under one roof)
  15. (Mayo; online retailer of the Irish-made Total Shaving Solution)

This year’s 15 OPTIMISE Fund recipients were chosen following an online public vote that determined 10 of the OPTIMISE recipients, with the remaining five businesses selected by an independent judging panel. This year’s judging panel was chaired by Conall Ó Móráin (Today FM’s Sunday Business Show), Keith Bohanna (Near Future), Alan Sherlock (SFA) and Ronan Smith (AIB).

David Curtin, Chief Executive of the IEDR, said: “This was the most successful year of the OPTIMISE Fund to date. We received an incredible response from Irish SMEs and micro-businesses, all of whom recognise the genuine opportunity that exists to reach new audiences and increase online sales through an expanded and improved web presence. As the economy continues to recover, the SME sector cannot overlook the value of e-commerce in converting new business. We look forward to continuing to work with Irish SMEs through the OPTIMISE Fund to grow and improve this important facet of their businesses.”

The OPTIMISE Fund was established by the IEDR in 2011 following research that showed a low level of e-commerce activity on Irish SMEs’ websites. Now in its fifth year, the OPTIMISE Fund has provided funding to 60 Irish SMEs and micro-businessses.

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