Eircom Business Solutions has awarded a total of €151,625 in funding in the first round of its Digital Boost initiative to 17 Irish companies to support innovation and growth in their business through investment in digital solutions.

Eircom Business Solutions’ Digital Boost is a €250,000 seed fund designed to offer tangible assistance to the SME community in four key areas: business mobility, digital training, sales and marketing and business productivity.

Coláiste na Rinne in Ring, Co. Waterford, secured the most funding in the first round, receiving over €22,000 in digital solutions including digital marketing training courses, a website upgrade in association with Isobar, and an invitation to attend Google’s Start Up Lecturer Series. 

Established in 1905, Coláiste na Rinne is a not-for-profit educational institution, whose primary objective is to promote Irish through the provision of language courses for all age groups. In past years, Coláiste na Rinne has been successful in attracting learners to attend courses at its campus largely through word of mouth. However, the institution has identified the need to develop a digital strategy, from scratch, to drive further growth for the business.

Speaking on how Eircom Business Solutions Digital Boost funding will benefit the college, Liam Suipéil, Bainisteoir an Choláiste said:

“Word of mouth recommendations are important to our business but we realise that this approach is no longer enough to really build our business. Our website is currently not an integral element of our marketing strategy and this has to change. With the Digital Boost funding we want to develop a strong digital presence that will appeal to the Coláiste’s young and digitally savvy target market to drive interest and boost attendance”.

“In recent years Coláiste na Rinne has also developed new courses in response to a growing interest in the Irish language amongst adult learners, both at home and abroad. A strong digital presence is critical in delivering services to these new market segments.  We believe this will also benefit our boarding school as well as our summer school sessions which currently see over 1500 students of all ages annually.”

Commenting on the announcement on the outcome of the first round of Digital Boost, David Walsh, Director of SME and Commercial, Eircom Business Solutions said:

“It’s encouraging to see that SMEs are realising the opportunities that the right digital presence can mean for their business and we have been very impressed with the ambition amongst the applicants in Round I of Digital Boost. This fund is a key pillar of our overall strategy to support the growth of Irish SMEs, and to help build digital expertise within those organisations. What is especially interesting is seeing traditional businesses, like Coláiste na Rinne, apply for funding with a whole new approach to marketing and communications.”

Eircom Business Solutions has partnered with Google, PayPal, Samsung, The Digital Marketing Institute, Isobar and Salesforce as part of this initiative to deliver a suite of digital funding to the 17 successful applicants in Round I. 

Round II of Digital Boost is now open for entry until the 31st of March. Open to all SMEs and mid-market enterprises, businesses can apply by uploading a short video or a five slide presentation to the Digital Boost website, eircom.ie/digitalboost , outlining their funding proposal and the fund area they require.

For more information and to apply to the Digital Boost fund visit eircom.ie/digitalboost

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