Posted: Wed 12th May 2021
Today, we're hugely excited to be launching business.connected in partnership with Vodafone - an extensive online training programme that will help 150,000 small businesses boost their digital skills.
The free 12-month initiative - delivered exclusively online, and consisting of workshops, webinars and e-learning modules - will empower businesses to kickstart digital change, adopt new technology, and stay safe online.
Small businesses can sign up to workshops, webinars and e-learning courses.
What does the training cover?
The workshops, webinars and e-learning courses focuses on essentials such as:
setting up a website
using collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams
making the best decisions for your connectivity
protecting yourself and customers from cyber attacks
Different levels of training will cater to those just starting their online journey as well as those looking to build on existing experience. All training, however, focuses on the following four areas:
Productivity and collaboration: Using communication and planning tools to provide foundations for the future of smart working
Building a presence online: Providing the knowhow and skills to put your business in front of new audiences
Managing digital security: Raising awareness of the risks that exist online, and how to make sure you and your customers stay safe
Optimising connectivity: Helping owners to choose the right connectivity options for the new way you run your business
What else does the programme offer?
Training aside, all business.connected participants are offered a free consultation with a Vodafone Business V-Hub adviser, who can advise on everything from digital marketing strategies to online security.
They'll also have access to exclusive offers for small businesses over the course of the programme.
Research from Vodafone has found that Britain's small business community is being held back by a lack of digital skills, with over a third (34%) not clear on which digital tools are right for their needs.
Over a quarter (27%) haven't taken any steps to learn new technology, while a further 41% haven't invested in digital tools. Only 35%, meanwhile, have basic cyber security protections in place.
"This initiative with Vodafone will help firms make the right decision and make sure every penny spent is being put to good use," said Enterprise Nation founder Emma Jones. "We want to help small businesses be better connected, work smarter and be more productive."
Andrew Stevens, Vodafone UK's head of small business, said that "the future of small business is to have an online presence" - despite many small business owners lacking the experience to make this future happen.
"We are providing a complete support service that helps businesses identify the right tools for them, activate them, and make the best use of them to improve their operation," he added.
"We're here to help Britain's small business community, and I look forward to working with business owners and seeing the new opportunities they're able to create for themselves as they venture online."