Lack of awareness of technology and business grants among SMEs

1st March 2016

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across Ireland are still largely unaware of business and technology-related Government grants, according to a new survey.

The research, carried out on behalf of cloud telecoms provider, Magnet, indicates that around one-in-ten (11 per cent) of small business owners know of the availability of such grants; the same percentage as last year.

According to the study of IT decision markers across 540 Irish SMEs, just six per cent said they had successfully accessed the Enterprise Ireland innovation voucher – worth €5,000 – available to assist firms to explore business opportunities or problems with higher education institutes; up from three per cent last year.

Additionally, the number of SMEs utilising the online trading voucher – worth €2,500 – increased only slightly from one per cent last year to four per cent. These vouchers can be obtained from local enterprise offices, giving small firms the ability to grow their ecommerce capabilities.

These grants are even more important given that more than half (52 per cent) of SMEs surveyed intend to invest in their IT infrastructure during the next 12 months, up from 30 per cent last year.

Small firms reported feeling considerably more optimistic about their business opportunities than they did last year, with almost three-quarters (74 per cent) expressing a positive outlook, compared with 61 per cent last year.

Nonetheless, almost two-thirds (62 per cent) of survey respondents admitted the Government still wasn’t doing enough for SMEs, while 37 per cent brought up the issue of employing the right professionals with the right skills to take their business forward.

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Or submit an enquiry