Top digital economy players in the UK today made pledges to help one million additional small business get digitally engaged during 2017.
At the event held by Do It Digital – a UK non-profit organisation, eBay’s Director of UK Trading, Murray Lambell pledged their support and also announced the launch of ‘eBay for Business’ – their campaign to help UK small businesses get online.
Other signees included Google who agreed to expand their training programme with their Google Digital Garage expanding to 100 cities and towns. The British Library and their Business and IP Centres are to train 10,000 businesses, with Enterprise Nation pledging to train a further 20,000. The biggest contributor however was the Federation of Small Businesses which will aim to support its 200,000 members with a range of digital schemes.
DCMS Minster Matthew Hancock MP commented on the event stating, ‘Digital knowhow can help firms save money, increase profits and improve productivity, yet too many firms still do not use websites, trading platforms or social media channels.
‘It is essential we take every opportunity to create the world-leading businesses of tomorrow, so I welcome Do It Digital's campaign and pledges from other organisations to increase digital skills in small businesses.’
Director at Do It Digital Michelle Ovens adds, ‘All evidence supports the belief that there are clear financial benefits for small businesses embracing digital. But we also know that many don’t have the time or access to the expertise to take advantage of what’s available to them. We want to help change that, one step at a time, by showing that digital needn’t mean a leap into the unknown by giving them access to support and guidance on how to engage in a way that is best for their particular business.’
New research by Ebay found the UK economy could be £8.4 billion larger if the 23% of small businesses not currently running a digital service made the switch. it also found that those who havent gone digital are missing out on £20,000 a year each in increased revenue and efficiency savings
Small businesses in Britain without digital infrastructure including a website, social media channels or a presence on an online marketplace are missing out on £20.2 billion in revenue each year, according to new research from Development Economics, commissioned by eBay. This equates to £20,000 in increased revenue or efficiency savings per business, across all sectors from retail to manufacturing.
Recent reports by Vodafone (Power of Productivity with LSE), O2 (O2 Business Barometer and Ofcom (annual business communications survey), all found that UK business are looking to harness technology to improve productivity and business performance in 2017. Key trends include unified comms and mobile solutions such as cloud services, flexible working and VoIP, which were also picked up by many dealers as a key focus for 2017 in Mobile’s predictions interviews. The afformentioned surveys also found that many businesses, while expecting efficiency savings and tech adoption this year, many were unclear as to how they should go about this or even what services are required.