Grants are available through the government’s Business Basics Fund to help SMEs adopt proven technologies, become more productive and successful.
Britain is one of the best places in the world to start and grow a business, However, a productivity gap exists between the UK and international competitors, which means our businesses are not reaping all the benefits that they could be.
Adopting leading technologies, practices and support services – such as cloud computing, mobile technology and e-purchasing – can improve the productivity and earning power of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and in turn grow the wider economy.
The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Innovate UK have up to £2 million to prove and test ideas that enable small businesses to become more productive.
The Business Basics Fund
Investment is through the Business Basics Fund, part of the government’s Business Basics Programme to encourage SMEs to implement proven technologies and practices.
Yesterday, UK government announced the projects to be awarded £2 million through the first funding competition.
This includes a project with the retail and hospitality sectors to use AI technologies such as chatbots to improve customer experiences, and another to support greater digitisation in dairy farming.
Small Business Minister, Kelly Tolhurst said:
Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. As part of our modern Industrial Strategy, we are supporting them with new investments to boost their productivity and ensure they can continue to thrive in the future.
- the 2 trial competition are open, and the deadline for applications is at midday on 17 April 2019
- in the business-led competition, UK-based businesses of any size are eligible to lead a project, working alone or with others
- in the non-business-led competition, UK-based public sector organisations, universities, research and technology organisations, charities and not-for-profit companies can be the lead, working alone or with others
- organisations could get up to £400,000 to run a trial
- the best projects at the written applications stage will be invited to attend an interview panel on 5 June 2019 to present their ideas
- projects must start by 1 September 2019 and can last up to 12 months