This LEP survey report offers great insight into different approaches to raising basic digital skills levels and comparative views on the challanges faced.
You can find the link here: http://bit.ly/1FuJpbS
No great shocks on the needs of small businesses being very diverse; from using social media to promote their business and connect with new customers to taking payments and protecting themselves from fraud and storing digital information on suppliers and customers.
Regards barriers to progress, there is as you would expect reflection on the lack of resources and funds available to tackle the problem….but what is perhaps more surprising is the repeated reference to lack of understanding of SME’s, how to engage and communicate with them.
Surely this is an open innovation question in the making - Given the extensive experience of economic development teams, the richness of the SME support ecosystem, and range of existing and diverse dedicated digital enterprise and related community initiaitives - we don’t need brilliant enigmatic solutions - we just need people to come together effectively to create local solutions.
There is an event in London on the 26th. Unfortunately you can only attend if you are from a LEP which is a shame as I am sure there are plenty of potential contributors…I wonder who is attending from the North East and Tees Valley? Certainly Interested to here the outcome.