Google partners with Good Things Foundation to help small businesses

25 Jul 2016

Good Things Foundation is set to help an additional 10,000 people in the UK to improve their digital skills, thanks to a new partnership with Google.

The project - part of Google’s Digital Garage programme - will see community organisations across the country provide digital skills support to small businesses, sole traders and people setting up businesses, helping them to make the most of Google’s Digital Garage resources so they can find a new job, set-up a new business, or make their businesses more efficient and profitable.

A report by Lloyds Banking Group in 2015 revealed that over a million businesses in the UK were still lacking basic digital skills, with a quarter believing digital is ‘irrelevant’ to them.

This project seeks to address these issues, by leveraging the reach of community organisations within the UK online centres network who can tailor support based on the needs of individuals. The network - made up of over 5,000 community organisations - is expert in supporting both individuals and businesses to make the most of digital technology, breaking down the barriers that prevent people from making the most of technology, and engaging them with it in a way that is relevant to them.

This project will see up to 100 centres provided with funding - alongside a wider package of training and marketing support - to help people in their local area to improve their digital skills using the Google Digital Garage resources.

Paul Davies from Destinations@Saltburn, one of the delivery partners for this project, said: “We’ve long supported people to improve their digital skills, which can range from individuals looking for work, to people looking to set up or expand small businesses. We’re delighted to be part of this new project with Good Things Foundation and Google. The resources from Google are a great way to introduce people to what digital can do for their business, and coupled with the personalised support that our tutors and volunteers can provide, we can make a real difference on supporting people in our community.”

Helen Milner, Chief Executive of Good Things Foundation said “Digital skills are vital in today’s world, but there are still a number of people who don’t have the skills they need to benefit from everything digital technology can offer. For many, they simply don’t have the time to get to grips with the tools that exist, and don’t know where to start. The targeted, personalised support provided through this programme will address these issues, ensuring people can find the tools that are relevant for them. “UK online centres are situated in some of the most deprived communities in the UK, and so this programme will be really targeted at those who have the most to benefit from digital, and who aren’t likely to access support through other channels”.

Itay Haber, Head of Marketing at Google UK said: “In the digital age, a basic understanding of how the online world works is useful; and when it comes to business, it’s essential. At Google, we’re fully committed to helping people become more digitally savvy, and through this partnership we hope to extend our support to communities where in-depth support and training is most needed.”

This project is part of the wider Google Digital Garage programme which aims to support 250,000 people up and down the country to improve their digital skills, part of a bigger ambition to train 2 million people across Europe to improve their digital skills. The partnership with Good Things Foundation runs from July 2016 to July 2017.

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