I attended the launch of Getting British Business Online (GBBO) on Tuesday evening, which was held at the Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh. This initiative aims to get 100,000 new businesses online by the end of this year and is supported by Google, BT, and E-Skills among others. It's a really attractive initiative since it provides small businesses with a free website (with a personalised domain name), including online payment facilities.
Around 250 people attended the event. Mostly small (one or two people) businesses who are among the 1.5 UK businesses (30% of the total) who don't have an online presence. The head of Google UK, Matt Brittin, gave the keynote speech and provided lots of interesting facts and figures. He emphasised the importance of the mobile platform, pointing out that 50% of new Internet connections are via smartphones. He said businesses were "still in the silent movie era" in their use of online technologies - and needed to modernise.
SQA will provide a new qualification to support this initiative. We plan to produce a National Progression Award entitled Doing Business Online at SCQF Level 5. The award will mean that businesses can not only get an online presence but also understand how best to capitalise on it. The free website and supporting qualification should make an attractive package to businesses.
We hope to have it available to centres from August. Contact Hilary for more information.