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New digital training course to support 20,000 Irish SMEs

Enterprise Nation will train Irish SMEs in cybersecurity, digital marketing, e-commerce and more as part of the Go and Grow Online programme.

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

The 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 accounting will also be covered.

Enterprise Nation is London-based business support group that helps around 50,000 small businesses every month.

It is aiming to support more than 20,000 SMEs in Ireland through the new scheme, with training primarily delivered online. Irish businesses that take part will have access to the group’s platform and supports including workshops, e-learning and access to digital advisers.

Go and Grow Online launched today (14 January) at StartUp 2022, a virtual event for Irish small business owners. Enterprise Nation founder Emma Jones brought the course to Ireland to help meet the demand for online and digital skills training.

“We are witnessing a once-in-a-generation opportunity for small businesses,” Jones said. “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.

“The acceleration of digital technology and social media has 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.”

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

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

Once public health restrictions allow, Enterprise Nation said there will be in-person drop-in sessions around the country for SME owners to take part in training.

Irish advisers include Paddy McDermott, founder of Galway-based business consultancy Bax & Max, Gary Evans of social media specialist Feedalpha, and Jacinta Dempsey of social media management and consultancy agency Thesocialnetwork.

Aisling Flanagan, founder of Velvet Cloud Sheep’s Milk Yogurt and Cheese, who is joining Go and Grow Online said: “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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