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ACT Project Newsletter Issue 1, Dec. 2012

ACT is a Joint Ireland-Wales INTERREG IVA project, part-funded by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund

What is ACT? ‘ACT’ stands for Advanced Communication Technologies. It is a joint Ireland-Wales INTERREG project, which seeks to help SMEs and micro enterprises to improve and grow their business with the help of social media and online marketing. The ACT project hopes to impact directly on small businesses, by assisting them to take advantage of social media tools benefitting their business capacity through added value and more effective business processes. ACT: ‘Creating a stronger online presence for your business’.

‘The ACT project exists to help SMEs across West Wales and South-East Ireland better understand social media and take advantage of the opportunities it offers for business growth’

ACT -The Launch: Lights, Camera, Action! The ACT project was launched in Heathpark, County Wexford, by the Minister for Small Business, Mr. John Perry, T.D. at a very busy but very wet and mucky National Ploughing Championships in late September. The Chairman of SERA was also in attendance as master of ceremonies along with staff members from SERA and our special guests from our Welsh partners, Orla and Katrina. Special thanks to project partner Kieran Comerford, Carlow CEB and all the South-East City & County Enterprise Boards who facilitated us in the bustling ‘Enterprise’ pavilion. Above: Minister for Small Business, Mr. John Perry, T.D., and Cllr. Larry O’Brien, Cathaoirleach of the South-East Regional Authority launching ‘ACT’ at ‘The National Ploughing Championships’.

The ACT Project commenced in summer 2012 and will run until 2014. It will have 3 distinct phases or ‘ACTs’. ACT 1 which finishes in early 2013, involves setup and launch of the project, baseline research and open invite events in both Wales and Ireland such as workshops and training seminars for SMEs

ACT Project Partners •South-East Regional Authority (Lead Partner) •Carlow County Enterprise Board •Swansea Metropolitan University •University of Wales: Trinity St. David

"Our head of social media is the customer" – McDonalds Social Media Programme rolled out to SMEs through City & County Enterprise Boards in the South-East Region in 2012

Social media for beginners Social media advanced users YouTube your business Apps for business

Did you know?* There are 2.2m Facebook users in Ireland. LinkedIn has 750,000 Irish accounts. % of Irish internet users accessing retail sites = 93.8. Lady Gaga with 33m followers is the most followed celebrity on Twitter. Niall Horan from OneDirection is the most followed Irish celebrity with 8.3 m followers. * Source:

As part of ACT phase I, a social media programme was devised by Enterprise Boards from the South-East region and delivered directly to SMEs and microenterprises across the region up to December 2012. Funded by ACT and delivered free of charge by a panel of specialist trainers, almost 200 SMEs have participated to date in at least 1 of the 4 sessions. Additional workshops will be run during 2013, watch this space!!

Popcorn events run in Wales

Welsh Deputy Minister launches ACT in Llanelli Partners from SERA and Carlow CEB were delighted to attend the Welsh launch of ACT at Machynys, Llanelli in late October. A really well attended event with guest speakers from the world of social media including @warrenof and @julian_hoffi and great stories about how social media can positively impact business.

Carlow CEB on Facebook Why not visit ACT partner Carlow CEB’s Facebook page for a world of information and activity on small business Carlow CEB Facebook

As part of ACT Phase 1, our Welsh partners ran a series of short popcorn events in the run-up to Christmas. Designed to help SMEs think about how to use social media to interact with customers online, to improve their online presence and to develop business through different social media tools. 3 workshops were covered: •Branding - key ingredients; •Websites – digital tools to get online; •Social networks – tweet, post, vlog, linking.

The CIME App Another IrelandWales INTERREG IVA project, in which the South-East Regional Authority was the Lead Partner, CIME, was recently completed following a very successful 3 year project. One of the legacies of the project, which aimed to give microenterprises access to creativity and innovative thinking tools is the CIME app – freely available toolkits and techniques on any platform available to small businesses. Check it out at

Follow us @ActIrelandWales and @Official_SERA Subscribe to Visit us at Contact Lead Partner SERA at or 00353 52 6126200

ACT Project Digital Newsletter Issue 1  

Digital newsletter of ACT project - ACT 1 - Dec 2012