Digital Business Support

MainDigThe increasing adoption of digital technology and significant investment in infrastructure has brought new opportunities to businesses, communities and organisations. These opportunities drive growth and inclusion, and Serco Employment, Skills and Enterprise is at the forefront – delivering a range of tailored digital business support programmes, building an innovative knowledge hub and stimulating community engagement to increase awareness and exploitation of digital technology.

Our evolving approach to digital business support allows us to flex in line with Local Enterprise Partnership and local authority priorities, while offering access to a network of digital expertise to drive growth. Through delivering five superfast broadband support programmes – across businesses and communities – we have raised awareness of the benefits of faster broadband and developed the knowledge and expertise of businesses, enabling them to improve performance and grow.

We are now in an environment that will see ever faster change and greater opportunities – one that will demand new partnerships and innovative developments in support. It is essential that we maintain momentum through support that enables even more businesses to use new technology – helping them improve performance, access new markets and expand. This support needs to act to release the potential of rural businesses, priority sectors and communities, and in doing so it is as much about developing new business skills as it is about understanding technology.

We also see digital technology providing real opportunities to address some of the pressures faced by local public services. It is one part of a possible solution and will require new partnerships and creative approaches, but it does have potential to engage new businesses, build local supply chains and deliver social value within this process.

We are developing these approaches now – we want to share our ideas and the knowledge we’ve built so far to develop new partnerships and services that will truly drive growth through digital technology.

“The UK is already a world leader in digital business, but this is just the beginning. The revolution in business practices that will transform our local economies is in its infancy. Digital infrastructure can be harnessed from anywhere to deliver agile, flexible business to compete on any stage.”
Ian Exworthy
Superfast Business Programme Manager

50% of businesses expect
to be digital businesses within 24 months

55% of SME’s believe
the cloud can improve competitiveness

75% of SME’s and charities
yet to fully exploit technology

Business Support Contracts with a focus on Broadband Technology

Superfast Broadband Business Support in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly (2016-2019)

superfast business cornwall logo

Superfast Business Cornwall (SFBC) is a new service for small to medium size enterprises (SMEs) across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly that aims to boost business competitiveness through increased understanding and exploitation of digital technology. It builds upon the success of the previous Superfast Business Cornwall Service but is able to support a wider range and number of businesses in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly. Offering SMEs, start-ups and social enterprises a programme of information, advice and digital skills development. Match funding is available to enable or accelerate digital transformational projects.

The Superfast Business Cornwall service operates from June 2016 to March 2019 for eligible* SMEs based in Cornwall, it is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

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Superfast business logo

Superfast Broadband Business Support in the South West of England : Closed March 2015

In close partnership with seven Local Authorities in the South West; Devon, Somerset, Bath and North East Somerset, Wiltshire, South Gloucestershire, Gloucestershire and Dorset we are leading a consortium to provide targeted demand stimulation, business advice, partnership development and a small element of capital support.

This is a £12m project split by £6m ERDF and £6m match funding. Our service is delivered through, and in partnership with the existing business support network. This ensures demand stimulation and Superfast Broadband application is woven into all local business support. We have a unique approach to knowledge transfer – ensuring that a platform and high value content are available to all stakeholders to demonstrate the benefits and opportunities associated with Superfast Broadband take-up.

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Superfast Broadband Business Support in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly: Close March 2015

superfast business cornwall logo

This highly targetted growth project in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, utilising convergence rather than competitiveness funding, it is a £3m project split – £2.25m ERDF and £0.75m match. Our service will intensively support 25 high growth businesses to implement ICT projects that exploit the opportunities of Superfast Broadband and associated technologies to transform their businesses.
We provide a high level of specialist advice, grant funding part matched by the business and access to a range of national and regional expertise provided by IT suppliers including Microsoft, financial services, telecom companies, higher education institutions and local specialist suppliers. The service is delivered in collaboration with the University of Exeter, is fully aligned with the broader Superfast Cornwall project

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Superfast Broadband Business Support in Cheshire: Closed June 2015

connecting cheshire business support logo

In close partnership with three Local Authorities in Cheshire and Warrington; Cheshire East Council, Cheshire West and Chester and Warrington Borough Council we are leading a targeted demand stimulation and business support service to support the wider Connecting Cheshire Programme.

Our service is delivered in partnership with Groundwork Cheshire. Our aim is to guide businesses through the world of digital technologies to create efficient and profitable platforms in an ever increasing online economy.

Part of our service requires the procurement of specialists to provide in-depth knowledge to drive business technology development requirements forward. If you are interested in becoming a specialist please read the specification and download the application.

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superfast knowledge hub

Knowledge Hub

Sharing knowledge and information about Superfast Broadband, its benefits and applications is a key part of both our services. Our innovative online knowledge hub is the platform for the latest thinking and application of technology from industry experts, businesses and suppliers. It will have a number of levels of access, to provide the best support possible:
Website – with access to information on Superfast Broadband, case studies and links to local information and partners, available to all.
Knowledge Hub area – with access to specialist and technical information for businesses engaged with our service.
Collaboration area – with access to a secured shared area where businesses engaged with our service can interact with specialists and experts, work on projects together and share best practice
This model can be expanded to accommodate additional projects and geographies.

The Digital Marketplace: Closed March 2015

The Digital Marketplace provides workshops throughout Cornwall, Devon and Somerset highlighting the benefits of Selling Online and Selling Online Internationally. The aim is to up skill local businesses to enable successful adoption of ecommerce and promotion of their goods and services online, in the UK and internationally. Funded as part of the Plymouth and SW Peninsula City Deal project.

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The Digital Marketplace Suppliers and Certification logo

The Digital Marketplace Suppliers & Certification

Building a reputable self sustaining supply network of highly competent digital providers who are able to deliver international web design, search and marketing solutions to businesses in the region. We have built an advanced training and certification programme designed to help digital marketing agencies to be able to upskill their teams through an advanced, expert training and mentoring programme, produced and delivered by the Chartered Institute of Marketing, a recognised and respected professional institution.

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Get up to speed logo

Get up to Speed

A support service designed to help businesses and communities across Devon and Somerset improve their technology skills and knowledge. The service offers information locally through events, workshops and other community support activities, allowing businesses. communities and residents to fully harness the benefits of current or future faster broadband. The ‘Get up to Speed’ service is delivered by the Cosmic Peninsula Consortium, which brings together the expertise and experience of Cosmic and Serco Employment, Skills and Enterprise to deliver projects employing technology alongside innovation to support individuals, strengthen communities and grow businesses.

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