DigitalHQ, a founding member of the Digital Ireland Network has successfully completed the launch of the inaugural ‘Digital First’ Day with support from the Department of Rural & Community Development’s ARISE Strand 1 fund. Through the launch of this initiative by Minister Humphreys our goal was to increase an awareness and common understanding of the value of social enterprises. Our project also has the goal of empowering social enterprises to leverage the work of our own social enterprise thereby strengthen the social enterprise sector in Ireland overall.
In particular our objective is to raise awareness of our ‘Digital First Communities’ model for community activation around harnessing digital amongst members of the public and to share our impact reports and framework with communities that have an existing social enterprise/LDC or those communities that have a ConnectedHub and wish to upskill and upscale its operations.
We believe the work of our social enterprise is a model that can benefit many communities in rural areas across Ireland. We also believe that in the next decade small businesses will no longer go to business parks, industrial estates or city centres to grow, they will instead locate in the ecosystem of supports and resources that towns can provide.
As part of this new future our mission is to convert empty space in listed buildings into vibrant remote working hubs that attract digital businesses to the heart of town centres. We use the hub’s income to help future proof the local small business population through increased footfall, digital skill development and business attraction.
How we launched ‘Digital First’ Day with support from ARISE
To support our ARISE ‘Digital First’ Day initiative, we have created a number of digital assets that included
- Digital Ireland Network website including ‘Digital First’ Day dedicated page
- A video “Repopulating Rural Ireland through ‘Digital First Communities’,
- Social media campaigns around two themes: Theme 1 – emphasising the role of a local hub in the community and Theme 2 – emphasising the benefits of Digital First Communities in localities.
- Paid ads campaigns on the major advertising platforms
- Press release announcing the ‘Digital First’ Day event
- Media partnerships
We are delighted that our campaign was well received by hub members, local communities and stakeholders. Our YouTube video had more than 25K views, we saw a good engagement on all our digital assets, and most importantly we achieved our goal in increasing awareness and attracting at least 50 hub managers to take action, host events, and be a part of Ireland’s Inaugural ‘Digital First’ Day.
We are also grateful to all media outlets who recognized the importance of this initiative and helped us spread the word.
As we like to say, it is a team effort.
The launch in numbers
Why not get involved
If you would like your hub to run an event as part of this national initiative just jot your details down on our form on this page and we will be in touch. We will provide you with the resources and toolkits to help you every step of the way.
To Our Founding Members
We would like to extend a special thanks to all our founding members without whom this whole initiative wouldn’t be possible: ConnectedHubs, .ie, DigitalHQ, Western Development Commission, The Heritage Council, Grow Remote, NBI, and Udaras na Gaeltachta.