What is the ITBEP?
The Information Technology Business Enhancement Programme (ITBEP) is aimed at Small and Medium enterprises, including Sole Traders, based in Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent. These businesses will receive advice and information on using Information Technology to become more efficient and productive. Businesses will be supported to maximise their digital potential and competitiveness, enabling sustainable growth.
Who is running ITBEP?
The ITBEP will be delivered in partnership by Staffordshire County Council and the Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce. The Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce will employ two Digital Advisors through this programme.
How is it funded?
The project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund until March 2023.
How will it work?
When a business has signed up for the programme a Digital Advisor will visit them at their place of work (or virtually) and carry out an audit of how they are using Information Technology. This will include website, social media, software and cloud services, as well as other areas. Following the audit, a report will be produced detailing recommendations of how the business could better use Information Technology, the business will receive a copy and the County Council will receive a copy to assist with evaluation purposes.
The Digital Advisor will have a follow up meeting with the business to check on progress and to offer support. The timescales for the follow up meetings will be discussed with the business at the initial meeting. The advisors will be available before and after the follow up meeting to support the business.
If there is a lack of Broadband available, the business will be signposted to the Superfast Broadband project at Staffordshire County Council, to see if there are any Government or commercial options to have the infrastructure installed.
How does this fit in with the bigger picture?
The ITBEP proposal aligns positively with the objectives and priorities of the National Industrial Strategy and the emerging Local Industrial Strategy for the Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Local Enterprise Partnership area.
This is reflected further in the government’s UK Digital Strategy which seeks to help every UK based business be more productive through the adoption of digital technologies, by maximising existing support programmes and identifying gaps in provision and overcoming barriers to adopting digital methods.