New Government funding for small firms

The Government has announced that technology projects and pilots across the UK will benefit from a new fund to boost the productivity of small businesses.

A total of 15 projects from all parts of the UK have won a share of £2 million from the first round of funding from the Business Basics Fund, which supports projects that encourage small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to boost their productivity through new ways of working and technology.

The projects to win so far include digital dairy farming, artificial intelligence (AI), chatbots and cloud computing technology. Some of these are cutting-edge collaborations between businesses and groups, including the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD) and various universities.

One winner is Cavendish Enterprise, a national business support provider, which aims to test an innovative management development programme for micro-enterprises. Another is a collaboration between the Greater London Authority, CognitionX, Capital Enterprise, and the London School of Economics, which will be working together to boost adoption of AI technologies such as chatbots for the retail and hospitality sectors.

Announcing the winners, Small Business Minister, Kelly Tolhurst said that the “investment will support innovative projects that test how Government and private sector companies can help small businesses adopt a range of technologies and management practices that save them time and make them more efficient”.

Meanwhile, a second funding competition has launched with £2 million available to businesses, academia and local authorities for new projects focused on testing ways of rolling out existing productivity-boosting technology and management practices to businesses.

According to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), by encouraging more businesses to take advantage of existing technologies, management practices and business support, the UK economy could benefit by £100 billion.

Nigel Fry, Partner at Milsted Langdon, said: “It is positive to see that the Government is allocating funding to support SMEs in the UK.

“If you are small business owner and would like more information on how to secure funding for technology projects and pilots, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.”

For more information about how Milsted Langdon can help, please contact Nigel at nfry@milstedlangdon.co.uk or by calling 01823 445 566.

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