Scottish digital support programme shortlisted for UK award

A digital support programme that has helped thousands of Scottish SMEs enhance their digital skills has been shortlisted for a Digital Leaders 100 (DL 100)  award.

DigitalBoost, delivered by Business Gateway in partnership with Scottish Enterprise and Highlands & Islands Enterprise on behalf of Digital Scotland, fought off stiff competition to make the illustrious top 100 announced last night (May 9th).

The programme, which provides businesses in every part of Scotland with a digital advantage, now needs public votes to help it win the Digital Public Service Innovation of the Year award.

Public votes will then be combined with the 10 judges’ scores to determine the overall category winners and provide those shortlisted with an exact placing in the top 100. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on June 22nd in St. Pancras Renaissance London Hotel.

Hugh Lightbody, Chief Officer at the Business Gateway National Unit, said: “We are delighted that DigitalBoost has been shortlisted for an award of this calibre. Being included in the top 100 recognises the positive impact the programme is having on shaping the digital future of Scotland’s business community, and the fact that we, and our partners, are at the forefront of digital transformation in the UK. By working with Scottish Enterprise, Highlands & Islands Enterprise, and DigitalScotland we are delivering a programme of support that is helping Scottish SMEs enter new markets, trade internationally, increase business efficiencies, and enhance their digital skills, all for free.”

Since launching in July 2015 DigitalBoost has:

  • Delivered over 1000 workshops throughout the whole of Scotland, with over 6500 attendees benefiting from the free half-day seminars.
  • Provided tailored digital advice to over 700 Scottish SMEs who have each accessed up to 21hrs of 1:1 support from expert digital advisers.
  • Helped 4000 individuals self-diagnose their digital strengths and weaknesses using a digital healthcheck.
  • Provided businesses with access to comprehensive downloadable guides on a wide range of digital themes.

In March 2017, the Scottish Government extended the programme’s funding for another nine months, allowing Business Gateway to continue to help Scotland’s SMEs flourish in the digital world.

Mr Lightbody added: “Thanks to the funding DigitalBoost will continue to improve the level of digital maturity amongst Scottish businesses, no matter if they are just entering the digital world or are already online. To ensure the programme continues to develop the skills of our business community, a series of online DigitalBoost tutorial videos will shortly be launched. These will keep business owners and entrepreneurs informed of new and emergent digital technologies and expand their skills to help them become more innovative in their thinking and competitive in an increasingly connected world.”