Friday, September 20, 2019

New initiative aims to help entrepreneurs develop online presence

Jennifer Lindsay-Finan
Jennifer Lindsay-Finan

An innovative new online programme has been launched to enable businesses to enhance and develop their online presence and make the most of the digital opportunities available to them. 

GrowOnline has been developed by community-based enterprise support organisation GrowBiz as part of its new Making Rural Business Digital project.

Making Rural Business Digital, which is supported by LEADER, aims to provide the support rural businesses need to sustain and grow, focussing on areas such as digital routes to market, developing enterprise hotspots and providing training and support to anyone starting or growing a small or micro enterprise and who wishes to improve their digital skills. 

The GrowOnline programme is open to anyone, and everyone who signs up to the programme will be able to access a wide range of online resources including ideas, information, tutorials and mutual support from participants to help them increase their online presence. 

The programme will focus on a different theme each month, looking at aspects of running your own business such as social media and using online networks, selling online and getting organised, and Jennifer Lindsay-Finan, the digital content, learning and training coordinator for GrowBiz, will work with participants to set challenges each month. 

There will be a virtual event every month where participants on the programme can get together to discuss the progress they have made and any issues or successes they have experienced, as well as closed online forums where those taking part can share best practice and advice.

Jennifer said: “Digital technology and connectivity provide so many opportunities for rural enterprises to enhance their business offering. 

“The GrowBiz model, which is unique in Scotland, fosters a resilient, collaborative and supportive approach to rural enterprise and working towards improving rural development results – and one way to achieve this is by embracing digital technology and using it to best effect. 

“The GrowOnline programme has been developed from the tried and tested methods that GrowBiz uses to deliver enterprise support – such as peer support, networking and learning sessions – and puts those techniques into a digital context in order to reach a much wider audience.

“Each month we will send participants on the programme resources and ideas for growing their online presence – whatever stage of the enterprise journey they are at. There will be support from everyone else on the programme and lots of opportunities to share ideas and experiences and learn from like-minded business owners. 

“And simply by taking part in the programme, and working towards the goals and challenges they choose to aim for at a pace that suits them, we believe entrepreneurs will be inspired and grow in confidence in their own digital capabilities. 

“So whether it’s support with social media – which we will be looking in September – finding out about ‘cloud accounting’ packages, creating effective websites or using apps to make your life easier, and your business more effective, we’ll aim to cover it.”

For further information on GrowOnline or to sign up to the programme, see the website at www.growbiz.co.uk

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