A new free-of-charge online platform that brings together leaders of small businesses and charities with a community of digital expert volunteers launched in the UK today. The company, Digitalboost is on a mission to help small businesses and charities get the essential digital skills they need and by extension more customers and revenue streams through online channels. Only last year a 2019 study by the European Commission showed that less than a third of small businesses in the EC have a high degree of digitalisation, implying a large majority of small businesses lack the basic prerequisites for moving their business online. The news comes at a critical time for small businesses across the UK, with the majority of owners looking for ways to pivot during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. In late March it was rumoured that two in five small business would face closure as a result of quarantine laws that prohibited non-essential stores from opening. However, as the nation adapted to life in lockdown what proved successful for businesses was having a strong online presence so they could reach their customers online. As consumers are expected to remain online post-COVID-19, small businesses with a limited online presence will miss out on an ever-growing portion of the business. What Digitalboost aims to do is not only”help small businesses and charities survive the COVID crisis, but also contribute to their long-term competitiveness in today’s digital world. The company has three service offerings to help equip small businesses and charities with essential digital skills, including one-to-one mentoring sessions with digital volunteers from top technology, agency, consulting and finance firms. In addition, they are also providing online masterclasses and skill-sharing useful information. Digitalboost is owned by Founders4Schools, a charity led organisation which helps improve the life of students by connecting them to business leaders. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is also supporting Digitalboost to provide digital support for small businesses and charities in the UK that have been impacted by COVID-19. “It is vital small businesses and charities are able to seize the benefits of modern technology”, comments Caroline Dinenage, Minister for Digital and Culture at DCMS She continues.. “The new Digitalboost platform will help these organisations develop the skills they need. We look forward to helping build a community of digital experts, who are able to offer guidance and support to these organisations free of charge at this challenging time”
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