New tech scheme will provide free help to grow local businesses

By Nick Batten on 18 October, 2021

Small businesses in the West of England will now have the opportunity to improve their digital presence and grow thanks to a scheme funded by the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) and led by Metro Mayor Dan Norris.

Delivered in partnership with TechSPARK, the Tech for Growth programme will match businesses with a consultant and assist them with up to four days of hands-on support to develop and adopt technology. The support is fully funded and bespoke to each company’s requirements.

Metro Mayor Dan Norris said, “People involved in raising the profile of small and growing businesses know how important it is to be seen online.

“They also know that the tools and techniques involved in online marketing keep changing fast. Keeping up to speed can be hard. That’s exactly why this great new scheme can give them an important boost to keep them on the front foot.”

The new programme follows on from a successful pilot earlier this year which supported 84 local businesses. Applications for the new Tech for Growth programme, which will support up to 200 businesses, are now open.

The programme, which runs until June 2023, can help businesses:

  • Create a new website or improve an existing one with strategies for Search Engine Optimisation 
  • Develop a digital marketing strategy including using pay per click and google adwords 
  • Increase social media engagement and followers and create clear sales paths 
  • Install and/or update eCommerce platforms 
  • Build effective marketing campaigns and automate sales strategies 
  • Research and adopt new systems including Customer Relationship Management systems, financial and project management.

TechSPARK Director Abby Frear said, “The last 18 months have shown that being able to use tech is absolutely essential for businesses wanting to grow. We’re delighted that we can connect some of Bristol & Bath’s leading tech talent with local businesses to help them utilise digital to enable their ambitions. It’s a great opportunity and a win-win for the area.”

Eligible businesses will be based in Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset or South Gloucestershire, have been trading for at least a year and have aspirations to grow their turnover or number of employees.

Businesses interested in participating in the scheme should visit the West of England Growth Hub for further information via https://bit.ly/305vLk9