UK Government launches Help to Grow: Digital Scheme – designed to support businesses in their adoption of digital technologies.
The scheme is one of several, government-led, initiatives aimed at enabling SMEs to become more resilient and to take advantage of the various digital technologies out there.
Launched in January 2022, Help to Grow provides eligible businesses with a discount of up to 50% on the costs of approved software, worth up to £5,000. As well as access to practical, specialised support and advice on how to choose the right digital technologies to boost their growth and productivity.
At the moment there are three accounting software providers signed up for the scheme – Sage, Intuit and E-crunch. The next phase of the programme will see the scheme extended to e-commerce software.
What is Help to Grow: Digital?
Help to Grow: Digital is a new Government-led programme designed to help SMEs throughout their digital technology adoption journey. From diagnosing their needs all the way to weighing up purchasing options and technology implementation.
The financial discount can be used for approved software that helps businesses to manage finances digitally (using accounting software) and build customer relationships so they can boost sales (with customer relationship management (CRM) software).
What businesses are eligible for the scheme?
- To qualify for this scheme, you will need to meet a series of criteria:
- Your business can be from any sector but must be based in the UK
- The business needs to be registered with Companies House, or a registered society that’s on the Financial Conduct Authorities Mutuals Register
- Five to 249 people need to be employed
- Your business needs to have been trading for more than 12 months, with an incorporation date of at least 365 days before your application
- You’re purchasing the software for the first time
- As part of the scheme, all businesses can also benefit from free advice via the online platform.
How To Apply
Before you apply for the financial discount you will first need to ensure that your business is eligible and decide on your chosen software. Take a look at the short quiz on the Help to Grow: Digital website if you are unsure of what you need.
There are 4 parts to the application:
- Your chosen software
- Business details
- Applicant information
- Email verification
Additionally, you will need the following to support your application:
- The business’s Companies House or Financial Conduct Authorities Mutuals Register number
- Your name, role in the business and work email address
- The number of employees working at your business.
Once you have completed the application and all fraud and eligibility checks have been passed, you’ll get a link to the website of your chosen software supplier.
This link will take you to a final breakdown of costs. You can then finish your purchase, with the discount applied.
This scheme is a great way for SMEs to improve their business and move ahead in this new digital world quickly and cost effectively. As a bonus, you also have the reassurance that its curriculum and validity is backed by the government.
While the Help to Grow: Digital scheme will require a small investment of your time and money, the return on investment can be considerable.
And remember, even if you don’t sign up for it, there’s a strong chance that your competitors will.
Chris Smith, Managing Director, commented:
“The help to grow scheme is a great initiative for small businesses. The eligibility criteria is very simple and this is a great opportunity to secure some valuable funding that could pay for itself multiple times over by implementing new business software”