We have heard it a lot lately: digitization allows companies to improve their productivity and create higher quality employment, strengthen the relationship with the client or open new markets. In short, it helps to grow and gain in competitiveness and resilience, two essential qualities in times of crisis. This has been confirmed since the beginning of the pandemic, an unexpected factor that brought dizzying speed to the transformation of companies in all sectors.
However, in the extensive map of small businesses that make up our production system, there are still many that have not known, or have not been able, to make that much-needed qualitative leap. To help them, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, through Red.es, and with the collaboration of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce, has launched the program Digital kit. The objective is the digital transformation, during the next three years, of nearly one million SMEs and self-employed workers from all productive sectors throughout the national territory.
“We cannot let SMEs off the hook from digitization because they represent 99% of our business fabric,” says Julián López-Arenas, director of competitiveness at the Spanish Chamber of Commerce. López-Arenas underlines that the digital economy represents only 19% of Spain’s GDP, compared to 40% of the European average, so “we must continue to advance to get closer to the levels of the countries around us to compete in a world globalized”. Specifically, micro-SMEs are the companies that are the most digitally lagging behind and the ones that should make the most of the resources that the state and regional administrations put in place to favor their transformation. The program digital kit, In this sense, it has a budget of 3,067 million euros, financed by the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan through the Next Generation funds, within the framework of the Spain Digital Agenda 2025 and the SME Digitization Plan 2021- 2025.
digital-kit offers direct aid for digitalization to freelancers and companies with less than 50 employees. It has already launched its first call, endowed with 500 million euros for companies with between 10 and 49 employees, who may request digitization bonuses of up to 12,000 euros. The beneficiaries will be able to choose the service that best suits the needs of their business, within a catalog of ten categories of solutions offered by expert companies, called digitizing agents.
The first call for ‘Digital Kit’, endowed with 500 million euros, accelerates digitization in a catalog of up to ten categories, from the creation of a website to process management or electronic commerce
The areas offered for improvement are: creation of a website and visibility on the Internet, development of electronic commerce, management of social networks, customer management, business intelligence and analytics, virtual office services and tools, process management, electronic invoicing and cybersecurity. . Julián López-Arenas estimates that the most demanded will be those related “to customer and process management, while smaller companies will focus more on their website, Internet presence, e-commerce and social networks.”
How to do it?
The process is simple. You must register at www.acelerapyme.es and complete a self-diagnosis test. This questionnaire allows knowing the level of digitization of the organization to recommend services adjusted to their needs. Once the diagnosis of digital maturity has been made, all that remains is to request the digital voucher at the Electronic headquarters of Red.es if the requirements are met. These refer to size (no more than 49 workers or being self-employed), not being considered a company in crisis or being up to date with tax and Social Security obligations. Once the requirements have been verified, the aid is received.
Both to help carry out the self-diagnosis test and in the procedures to meet all the requirements, those interested may request advice at the almost 90 offices Accelerate SME distributed throughout the national territory.
“We must take full advantage of the opportunity of the Next Generation funds so that companies complete their digital transformation process and continue to grow,” concludes the Director of Competitiveness of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce.
‘Accelerate SME’ offices
Both the digitizing agents in charge of providing solutions to each company and the offices Accelerate SMEof Red.es and the Chambers of Commerce, are key elements for the success of digital-kit.
These offices have a dual function. On the one hand, they make SMEs aware of the importance of undertaking their digital transformation. For this, free workshops, seminars and conferences with experts on different topics such as cybersecurity or social networks, among other areas, are organized. On the other hand, the offices also have a digitization expert who can individually advise the company on the aspects that it should focus on to be more competitive. in the centers Accelerate SME those interested can receive information on the different aids that exist both at national and regional level.
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– Article Written By @Vera Castelló from https://elpais.com/tecnologia/digitalizacion/2022-05-03/impulsar-el-cambio-de-pymes-y-autonomos-es-un-reto-de-pais.html