A digital workforce is no longer an option, as many small and medium sized businesses now need to accelerate digital capability with new tech skills to transform their business.
Led by Technology Ireland’s Software Skillnet, TechLEARN SME will provide the world’s leading tech skills platforms - Pluralsight and O’Reilly Learning – to Irish small businesses
The aim of the initiative is to support Irish small businesses through Covid-19 recovery by enabling staff to develop digital technology capabilities, and is provided free.
Our online digital tech skills platforms offers an extensive range of courses including:
What are the key features and benefits of our TechLEARN SME platforms?
As people learn in different ways, both of our TechLEARN SME partners offer a range of learning formats as well as options for all levels of digital capability - beginner, expert, or somewhere in between.
O’Reilly Learning provides teams and businesses with expert-created and curated information covering all the areas that will shape our future—including artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, cloud technologies, data analytics, UX design, finance, leadership, personnel development and more - in every format your team needs.
Users can also “learn by doing” with the interactive learning feature through Katacoda – applying technical skills in real-world situations.
Pluralsight offers over 1,500 authors teaching the latest technologies and processes with courses on cloud, microservices, machine learning, security, Agile and more.
The intuitive platform includes their ‘Skill and Role IQ’ products empowers teams to keep up with the pace of change, put the right people on the right projects and boost productivity through expert courses, skill assessments and one-of-a-kind analytics.
“Big Tech” Initiatives
A number of Irish based ‘big tech’ companies are undertaking individual initiatives aimed at supporting SME’s during this difficult period. The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (DCCAE) contacted these companies and has collated a list of the initiatives as outlined below for information.
Google Digital Garage, g.co/digitalgarage-ie
For those working from home Google has a number of resources to help adjust and manage workload effectively. Google is offering free online training events, details to be listed on this website.
Resources to help small businesses manage through uncertainty here
Resources and insights to help navigate uncertain times on Think with Google (US site)
Facebook recently announced a $100 million grant program to help 30,000 small businesses in 30 countries around the world, including Ireland. In addition to this grant, they also launched a new Small Business Resource Hub to support Irish small businesses. The hub has a range of resources such as a resiliency tool kit and online training sessions designed to help businesses minimise disruption during COVID-19. The ‘Boost with Facebook’ webinar series is aimed at helping businesses put these resources into action over the coming weeks.
The following website outlines Amazon retail and AWS new resources for small business. https://www.amazon.com/b?node=18125002011
Amazon are planning a webinar and other initiatives in May (date tbc) for businesses on how they can get set up and selling on Amazon. In the meantime here is a recording of a similar webinar if it is useful to get a sense of what is covered. https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/recording/847269772993015564
Download the Shopify Resources for Irish Businesses document here. This is a 'how to get started' in terms of building out an online store from scratch with some extra resources to guide the merchant on how to pivot their business in these difficult times.
Square Space are able offer two separate levels of on-board help, depending on how comfortable the business is with technology and the online space. For those who require more directed guidance they’re able to provide a basic on-board option, with an introduction to creating a site and establishing an online presence. This will also include basics around styling and branding alongside domains and setting up an online store.
For those that are more comfortable with the websites and online presence, they can offer a fast-track option to getting online and maximising presence to increase online revenue. Some of the built-in features that their platform offers for this would include subscriptions, gift cards, scheduling.
Lastly, in terms of the format, they’re able to provide expertise either as part of a large group, webinar-style, or on a one-to-one basis if the business has a specific need that they’d like a solution to.
The requirements for any business that is looking to take advantage of any of the support they’re willing to provide is a computer, internet connection and technology knowledge (ability to navigate the web). For the rest, they can help with getting them set up.
Failte Ireland COVID-19 Supports & Webinars
Upskilling during COVID-19
Free resources to support your business to reboot and recover
Now is the right time to review your revenue management and sales and marketing strategies; that way your business will be prepared for the new marketplace that will face us post COVID-19. Time invested in upskilling, website optimisation and rethinking your key segments – in terms of who best to target post-COVID-19 – will help your business to successfully relaunch when the time comes.
There is a wealth of free, comprehensive external supports available to businesses. We’ve created a list of those designed to help tourism businesses build their expertise in areas such as Digital Marketing, Management and Finance and more. The sections noted below will be updated regularly as we continue to add to new courses and resources scheduled for the coming months.
Choose from the following:
An Online Support Hub for the tourism industry has been developed and is available here:
Local Enterprise office COVID-19 Supports & Services
Training courses offered by Mayo LEO
Everyone in business is well aware that if you remain static, you’ll very quickly be left behind. Business practice continues to evolve with disruptive models and practices, new technologies come on stream every day and society continuously changes… how do you stay ahead?
Local Enterprise Office Mayo is determined to ensure that start-ups and young businesses in Mayo have access to the training and up-skilling support necessary to give them a fighting chance of survival in the challenging early years, and of prospering when they become more established.
If there are any training courses you would like to see come available in the coming year please contact the Local Enterprise Office by Email email@example.com
Training courses are run throughout the year particularly during the spring and autumn. Courses we generally run include:
Start Your Own Business
This course aims to assist participants to develop an awareness and practical understanding of the steps involved to become self employed.
The course will enable participants to understand the essentials of good business management, analyse day to day trading and plan for further growth.
Overview of key areas of managing a business.
Company Formation and Structures
Planning the business
The Business Plan and it's importance in current and future trading.
Marketing, Market Research, Target Market, Product Promotion and Presentation.
Basic Bookkeeping: Break Even, Pricing ,Margins and continuous Sales Analysis.
Understanding Financial Accounts and Balance Sheet,
Budgets and Cash Flows.
VAT , an introduction. Vat 3 Returns.
Effective Marketing for Small Business
This course aims to assist participants in understanding how to market their business effectively. It focuses on how to find new customers and get more business from existing customers through effective, practical and low cost marketing activities.
Develop the skills and knowledge to evaluate their current marketing activities.
To understand the traditional and newer marketing communication tools available to small business, and which might be appropriate for their business.
To develop an effective marketing action plan for their business or a business with which they are familiar.
Essential Tax, Vat, Cashflow, Debt Management
Management of cash flow function, costing & pricing strategies that can minimise credit control risk.
Maintain proper financial records to satisfy Revenue and all other requirements.
Have a complete understanding of all relevant Revenue forms
Prepare their own VAT returns
Have in place proper procedures for employing people
Understand the true cost of employing people
Have an understanding of how to calculate wages, PAYE, Universal Levy, Holiday Pay etc.
Price work accurately
Understand the importance of cash flow
Manage their bank position
Understand how to deal effectively with banks on finance issues.
Understand how to grow both sales and profits.
Understand and interpret their end of year accounts and take appropriate action
Social Media for Beginners
The social media workshop is for beginners and aims to introduce participants to various social media tools: Facebook, Twitter, Linkedln, Pinterest, Blogging etc and learn how they can use them for their business needs.
This course is designed to help start-up and existing businesses who have no experience of social media to begin using it as part of their marketing effort. Learn the role of social media in today’s marketing and why you might incorporate various social media platforms into your promotional activity. Topics include strategy, social media as a promotional tool and matching the best platforms with your target markets.
Social Media for Business workshop - Facebook ADVANCED
The aim of the programme is to assist businesses who have an established business Facebook page and wish to take their use of Facebook as a business development tool to the next level.
Consider the impact of the Facebook Algorithm on Facebook Marketers
Identify 8 ways to increase the organic reach of your Facebook page
Content creation and planning
Identify the 6 steps required to set up Facebook Ads
How to use Conversion Pixels for advanced Facebook Ads reporting
Advanced audience targeting techniques (Custom, Lookalike and Saved Targeted)
Customer Service Training
Customer Service Training: This workshop focuses on helping participants gain an insight into how great customer service can be used to drive sales in your business
Plan and Develop a Website
Suitable for businesses planning a website and for those seeking to review and upgrade their existing website. To equip small business owners with the knowledge & awareness of what makes a good website, how to create search engine optimised content, understand the most important factors in web design. To maximise opportunities offered through social media integration and online advertising.
This workshop is suitable for businesses planning a website for the first time, and for those seeking to review and upgrade their existing web presence. The core objective is to equip small business owners with the knowledge & awareness of what makes a good website, how to create search engine optimised content, understand the most important factors in web design, and maximise opportunities offered through social media integration & online advertising.
Setting business objectives for your website (online sales, lead generation, etc)
Visitor needs on your website
Site design & usability
Content Management System basics
Bringing the right visitors to your site:
Search Engine Optimisation
Monitoring and protecting your website
Creating an action plan for your website
For more information and updates go to the Mayo Local Enterprise Office website at:
Solas eCollege Courses Free
SOLAS eCollege courses are temporarily being made available free of charge as additional support to those impacted by Covid-19
This measure is to benefit anyone already doing a FET course and wish to augment their learning, as well as for anyone who has recently become unemployed / had their hours reduced and are hoping to reskill/upskill in digital skills
Applicants must be over 16 at the date of application - applicants can feel the full list of available courses at www.fetchcourses.ie - further information can be found at www.ecollege.ie
Please contact Ciara Ní Fhloinn in the National Innovation Unit at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any queries
MentorsWork✔️- Connecting SMEs with mentors to address current business challenges
The Small Firms Association (SFA), supported by Skillnet Ireland, has launched a free virtual mentor initiative aimed at guiding Irish SMEs through their current business challenges. The benefits include;
MentorsWork is a free, enterprise-driven programme, which will connect business owners and managers all around Ireland with experienced and skilled mentors to address specific business issues on a one-to-one basis. This new virtual mentoring programme is designed as ‘bootcamp mentoring’ specifically to tackle the ‘right now’ issues companies are facing.
Among the key business topics companies can seek mentoring support for are strategy, operations, commercial and financial analysis, change management, people management, product review and business development. Learn more about the programme from Sven Spollen-Behrens, Director of the SFA on our website.