Scotland’s digital programme for SMEs received £1.7m funding boost

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Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work confirms funding to extend DigitalBoost programme.

Scotland’s national digital technology training programme, DigitalBoost, has received a continuation of funding of £1.7m from the Scottish Government to extend the service that has seen thousands of Scotland’s SMEs benefit from digital business training over the past two years.

Keith Brown MSP, who launched DigitalBoost in February 2016, confirmed the renewed funding today (30 May 2018) at a visit to William Robertson & Sons Ltd in Dalkeith, a fifth generation family business that manufactures and supplies traditional pies and puddings. Founded in 1898, the company has benefited from the DigitalBoost programme - with support also coming from Business Gateway Midlothian - by bringing improved ecommerce and social media capabilities to the business, helping it reach a wider consumer audience.

Economy Secretary Keith Brown said: “We are committed to ensuring our future workforce and businesses are fully prepared and ready to embrace the digital revolution. “This further £1.7m investment for Digital Boost Phase 3 brings Scottish Government investment in the programme to over £6 million since 2016 and illustrates our on-going commitment to supporting Business Gateway to invest in the digital skills, processes and capabilities of our small and medium businesses. We will continue to support investment in a variety of businesses across Scotland to ensure all companies are ready to benefit from the opportunities of the digital future.”

Alex Robertson, Office Manager at William Robertson & Sons and a fifth generation member of the Robertson family said: “We have always had a strong focus on trade customers, but we knew that there was also a significant consumer market that would appreciate our quality products. Although we did have a website I knew that it could be working better for us so I decided to make contact with Business Gateway for some advice." 

“Through the DigitalBoost programme we received 21 hours of tailored 1:1 support from a digital expert which resulted in a rebranding of the business to the original William Robertson & Sons and also the creation of a new ecommerce website that we are confident will help boost sales. Our new Facebook page is also helping to raise awareness of the company and we are now looking to build on this further through Twitter and Instagram.”

DigitalBoost is aimed at helping Scottish SMEs capitalise on the ever changing area of digital technology. The programme provides a range of digital training including online tutorials, practical guides, 1:1 support from a digital expert and local workshops on topics including social media, cyber resilience, data analytics, digital marketing strategy and e-commerce.

Since DigitalBoost’s launch:

  • Over 12,000 business people from across Scotland have attended over 1700 local workshops with 97% rating them good or better than good. 
  • Over 5000 businesses have undertaken a digital health check
  • Over 15,000 digital guides have been downloaded
  • Over 16,000 hours of 1:1 advice has been provided to more than 1000 businesses.
  • Almost 4,000 businesses have benefited from online tutorials

Steven Heddle, Environment and Economy Spokesperson at COSLA said: “Many Scottish SMEs are keen to improve their productivity as well as their ability to reach customers that previously would not have been possible. By investing their time in DigitalBoost they are able to do just that. The programme is a key element in Local and National Government’s digital strategy and over the past few years many thousands of businesses have benefited from the programme, enhancing their skills and knowledge through a combination of 1:1 support, workshops and online learning. With this additional funding we will be able to continue this important work to help Scotland’s SMEs get ahead with their digital skills.”

For more information on DigitalBoost and to get support for your business visit www.bgateway.com/digitalboost

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