Free digital technology programme launched to help North East businesses grow

Free digital technology programme launched to help North East businesses grow

Businesses in the North East can now access a free digital technology programme thanks to a new initiative from the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (NE LEP)

The programme, aimed at SMEs, will focus on utilising technology to promote business growth and expansion.

Growth through Digital Technology is a partnership between the North East LEP and some of the technology sector’s biggest names including Microsoft, BT, Google, Uber and Nominet. Local partners including Federation of Small Businesses, Asian Business Connexions, Sunderland Software City, Digital Skills Academy and the Department for International Trade are also supporting the initiative.

Colin Bell, Business Growth Director at the North East LEP said: “We’ve teamed up with organisations including FSB, BT and Nominet to help small to medium sized businesses in the North East LEP area use digital technology to scale up.

“Our series of free masterclasses and seminars will cover everything from selling online to attracting new customers. We’ll also be looking at how digital technology can be used to control costs and finances, as well as build long-term business resilience.

“We’ll be helping businesses access free advice from experts in the field so they can draft and implement a digital strategy that works for their business.”

Chris Yiu, General Manager at Uber, added,  “We’re really excited to be involved with the North East LEP. There is a fantastic tech scene here in the North East and we really want to play a role in making it a leading tech hub.”

Designed for businesses looking to expand their digital presence and use new technology to grow their operation, Growth through Digital Technology will provide SMEs in the region access to expert help as well as supporting tools and techniques via business support platform, the North East Growth Hub (northeastgrowthhub.co.uk).

In addition to the series of free masterclasses and seminars, funding to support businesses in developing a digital technology action plan has been secured via Northumberland-based enterprise agency NBSL and the North East Business Support Fund.

Colin continued: “This is a fantastic programme and one that many businesses could really benefit from. Research has shown that organisations that adopt digital technology grow faster and enjoy higher growth profits. That’s something we want more companies in the North East to achieve.”

Some of the free masterclasses businesses can sign up to include; ‘Attracting customers with killer content’, ‘Using the cloud to manage operations and mange performance’ and ‘Using digital technology to trade internationally’.

Fast and more profitable growth for your business

The first event takes place on Thursday 24 November. It will be delivered by BT in association with Uber and the SME Centre of Excellence, and will focus on using technology to deliver faster and more profitable growth.

Speakers include Mike Jones, an entrepreneur with a number of small businesses, formerly founding MD of BT Local Business, a BT division serving over one million SME customers; and Senior Operations Manager at Uber UK, Gemma Bloemen.

Mike will explore how, in the fast paced world of technology, companies and individuals can cut through the noise to find the right digital solution for them. Gemma will share the fascinating story of Uber and how its innovative use of digital technology has enabled rapid growth across 508 cities. The event will also hear from North East LEP Business Growth Board Member, Ammar Mirza, who will deliver a practical session exploring how digital technology can be used to deliver higher revenue and profit growth.

Book now to increase profits for your business: www.nelep.co.uk/business-growth/growththrough-digital-technology