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The Digital Hub’s first #techmums programme drew to a close this week. We are delighted to report that 13 mothers from the Dublin 8 area were awarded their certificates for successfully completing the six week programme.

Situated in the Digital Hub’s Leaning Centre, the programme which was founded in 2012 by Dr. Sue Black, provided hands-on experience in a variety of digital technologies to a group of mothers from the local area. Dr. Black had long recognised the need to equip mothers with the skills necessary to take part in the so-called digital revolution.

The programme was designed with two key objectives in mind. First, to equip the mothers with the knowledge to take part in the digital transformation of their own children’s lives. Secondly, to equip them with the skills required to actively compete for jobs in the new digital economy.

#techmums is a transformative programme and it’s essential that this initiative is replicated across the country. As we pointed out in our blog post marking the arrival of the €415billion EU digital single market, there is a significant digital skills shortage among the adult population in Ireland. The EU stats are alarming as almost half the EU population (47%) is not properly digitally skilled, yet in the near future, 90% of jobs will require some level of digital skills.

The warning signs are there and thanks to initiatives from Dr. Sue Black and the Digital Hub we are waking up to the reality that we need to train our adult population as soon as possible.

Don’t know who to attribute this quote to but it’s relevant to this blog post, “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.” The choices facing the Irish government and the business community are quite clear. Invest in our people and it will broaden the economic base of the entire country. Ignore it at our peril.

We took our first steps back in October with our first online eLearning course and we did what we know best – the basics of bookkeeping and accounting. It’s called Account-Ability. Check it out, it’s free, it’s easy to follow and it’s packed full of great tips.

Watch this space as we will follow up with some more eLearning initiatives to help small business owners get to grips with the basics of digital skills.

The digital transformation is here, it’s growing and it’s gathering speed. Let’s be prepared to play our part.




Marc O'Dwyer

After completing a Graduate program in Marketing, Marc’s impressive sales career began at Allied Irish Banks, Pitney Bowes and Panasonic where he received numerous Irish and European sales performance awards and consistently exceeded targets and expectations. In 1992, Marc’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to set up his own business, Irish International Sales (IIS). Initially, this company was a reseller for Take 5 Accounts and Payroll software. Within four years, IIS became the largest reseller of Take 5 in Ireland, acquiring four other Take 5 resellers. He also found time to set up two mobile phone shops under the Cellular World brand and a web design company offering website design services for small businesses. In 2001, he bought the majority share in a small Irish software business, Big Red Book. At that time, the company was losing money. The company became profitable within two months, and Marc then acquired a payroll company to compliment Big Red Books Accounting products. In 2003, IIS were appointed as Channel Partners with SAP for their new SME product, SAP Business One. Marc sold his Take 5 business and concentrated on developing this new market for SAP As a result, by 2007, IIS was recognised as the largest Channel Partner for SAP in EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa). In 2008, the IIS Sales Manager bought the Company from Marc in an MBO. He launched Big red cloud in June 2012, the online version of big red book, to date the company successfully converts 59% of trials into sales and the number of customers is growing rapidly. Marc continues to run both Big Red Book and Big Red Cloud which now support 75,000 businesses. He is a very keen sportsman, having played rugby for 20 years, represented Leinster at under 16 and under 20 levels, and league squash with Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club for 10 years. Marc has competed in 11 Marathons, including the London and Boston Marathons, and has completed several Triathlons and Half Ironman races. He has also completed six Ironman Races in Austria(x2), Frankfurt (Germany), Nice (France) , Mallorca (Spain) and Copenhagen (Denmark)

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