Digital Enterprise Toolkit

Digital Enterprise Toolkit

Digital technology is transforming the way in which businesses operate, helping them to gain a competitive edge and achieve long term success. The Digital Enterprise business support programme is aimed at small to medium sized businesses (SMEs) based in the Leeds City Region that are wanting to grow and develop through an investment in digital technology.

The programme offers three strands of support (via voucher funding and educational opportunities) for eligible businesses and businesses can apply for more than one strand of assistance.

Strands of support for eligible businesses:

Digital Growth Voucher worth between £2,000 and £12,500 for eligible businesses (businesses should be operating predominantly in a business to business (B2B) environment, have at least two employees and been trading for at least 12 months). For further information visit Digital Growth Vouchers

Digital Growth Vouchers are designed to help small to medium sized businesses that are looking to grow by covering some of the costs of their digital/IT investment, so that they can achieve greater profitability and reach their full potential.

The voucher can be used to help cover the cost of investing in a wide range of digital technology solutions - such as purchasing or developing new hardware and software, developing websites and apps, introducing new internet telephony, etc. Vouchers can be used for either one technology solution or a bundle of solutions. 

Digital Enterprise will contribute a specified percentage contribution (at least 50%) towards the total cost of a project. The rest must be contributed by the beneficiary (business).

The digital/IT investment should enhance business performance and growth, so when evaluating a project’s eligibility Digital Enterprise will be looking for:

-Potential for digital transformation of the business as a result of the investment project.

-Potential economic impact in terms of increasing turnover and creating good quality and sustainable jobs for the business.

-Business performance improvements that are likely to result from the investment, including increased productivity and scaleability of the business.

The Digital Growth Voucher scheme opens in tranches throughout the year. An allocated fixed amount of funding for vouchers is allocated to each tranche.  Businesses who register for Digital Enterprise assistance and who are offered Digital Growth Voucher funding are able to indicate which tranche of funding they would like to access. This is particularly helpful for businesses who wish to access funding, but are looking to commence their project at a later date.

Connectivity+ Voucher worth between £500 and £3,000 for eligible businesses to cover the cost of upgrading their digital/broadband connection to above 30mbps and acquire related technology. If the current download speed is above 30 mbps, then the voucher can be used to install a new higher speed connection that doubles the broadband speed. For further details visit Connectivity Vouchers

Businesses will only be required to provide match funding for the balance of their investment if the project cost is above the value of the voucher. 

Businesses operating in both a B2B and B2C environment can apply. They can be of any age (including start-ups) and must have between 1-249 employees.

Many small firms that wish to grow and achieve digital transformation are limited by the quality of their digital connection, including limited bandwidth (up and downstream), high levels of contention with some technologies (FTTC), or the cost of upgrading to a dedicated connection (ISDN or excess construction charges, etc) due to their location.

The Connectivity+ Voucher scheme is open all year round. Approximately 250 Connectivity+ Vouchers will be available, on a first come, first served basis and when funding is exhausted, this strand of the programme will close.

Based upon a minimum project cost of £3,000 (excluding VAT) the voucher will be a grant of between £500 and £3,000 to help cover costs related to the installation and upgrade of digital connectivity /broadband.

Eligible businesses can use the Connectivity+ Voucher for a range of costs associated with upgrading a digital connection, including:

-The actual cost of the installation i.e. the cost of the physical connection, including excess construction costs to reach a network.

-Hardware related to facilitating the connection e.g. a firewall, router, receiver/antennae (for wireless connections).

-Virtual servers and software licences (subject to limitation of upfront costs only).

-Consultancy/project management cost to install a connection – capped at 25% of the value of a voucher.

Vouchers cannot be used to cover revenue/ongoing subscription costs for broadband services and cannot be used to pay VAT.

An Animation about the Connectivity+ Voucher is available here.

The Digital Knowledge Exchange, a programme of workshops, masterclasses, mentoring support and digital audits to help businesses improve their understanding of digital technology and the solutions available to help them to develop their business. Participants will receive up to 12 hours of free support. For more information about this service please visit Digital Knowledge Exchange

Subjects covered include, but are not limited to:

-Digital Marketing -Branding Governance

-Web Design -Broadband

-Search Engine Optimisation -Lead Generation

-Customer Service -Social Media

-Cloud Computing -Video

-Sales and Marketing -Analytics

-Networks and Connectivity -Mobile Optimisation

-IT -Content marketing

-Cyber Security -Telecomms / VOIP

-Support and Resilience -Marketing Automation

-Mobile Apps

Events and workshops are delivered at venues across the Leeds City Region. Businesses operating in either a business to business (B2B) or business to consumer (B2C) environment are eligible. Firms should have at least one employee and businesses or any age (including start-ups) can apply.

The Digital Knowledge Exchange will re-open late Autumn 2019.

Businesses can register for one or more strands of assistance.

Eligibility?

The scheme is supported by the nine Local Authorities in the Leeds City Region LEP area (excluding Barnsley).

Businesses wishing to take advantage of a Connectivity+ Voucher or wish to participate in the Digital Knowledge Exchange can trade in either a B2B or B2C environment, can be any age (including start ups) and employ between 1-249 people.

The Digital Growth Voucher is restricted to companies that trade B2B under EU funding rules, have to be trading for at least 12 months and employ two or more staff.

How to apply?

Business interested in taking advantage of the Digital Enterprise business support programme should register their interest here.