Where to get digital help and funding for your business

Scared of change to make your business digital? This expert has all the answersScared of change to make your business digital? This expert has all the answers
Scared of change to make your business digital? This expert has all the answers
Want to transform your business with digital, but don’t know where to start? Leanne Miller, digital programme manager at the Innovation SuperNetwork, explains how to get quick and easy help in the North East, with grant funding which may even pay for what you need.

After the pandemic, we are relying even more on technology to talk to our customers, take bookings and orders, and hold business meetings, as many more team members are working from a desk at home.

If you want to make changes to help your North of Tyne-based business operate more effectively, then help is at hand – and it’s easier than you think! Leanne, who has helped hundreds of businesses to adopt and adapt digital for business growth, answers your questions:

What are the common barriers stopping businesses from adopting digital practices?

Many businesses are anxious about becoming digital and making changes. To some, innovation still seems like sci-fi, confined to labs and for businesses at the forefront of science and technology. Many worry that a lack of time, money and internal expertise could stop them from progressing. It’s important they realise that making changes doesn’t have to be at great expense or take a lot of time.

What can businesses do to challenge themselves to think differently?

Making changes to your mindset can be difficult to overcome, but digital changes don’t have to be scary and they can make a big difference to your business! Customers and clients have an increased expectation to access services digitally. With a little bit of help, digital adoption can be quite straightforward and well worth the effort.

Innovation sounds expensive. Does it have to be?

Once you know what changes you would like to make, the North of Tyne Innovation Recovery Grant can help to fund them. You may not realise your business is eligible but if you are considering bringing in new equipment or a process that could help you do things more efficiently, then now is the time to apply.

Where do I start?

The first step if you have a specific project in mind and are looking for grant funding, is to speak to one of our team.

At the SuperNetwork our innovation support experts can also help you develop your digital innovation project, with specialist support, including access to finance. Our aim is to develop stronger connections across the digital community regionally, and help businesses at all stages of growth to succeed.

What advice can I expect?

We offer one-to-one advice alongside events and workshops and cut through the jargon to give you a more approachable way forward. Finally, we can help you secure the funding you need, including help to complete your North of Tyne Innovation Recovery Grant application.

What is the funding offer?

The Innovation Recovery Grant covers 50% of eligible business spend towards innovation projects totalling between £10,000 and £20,000 (excluding VAT) – with grants of between £5,000 and £10,000 available.

The grant is open to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across Newcastle, Northumberland or North Tyneside. Applications from start-ups and scale-ups are welcome.

Projects need to be innovative. This means they should change something for the better within a business – it could be a new product, an improved service or a new way of working, but it needs to be something the business has never done before.

How do I apply?

To apply or find out more about how to get 50% of grant funding towards innovative projects totalling £10,000 – £20,000 click here. Funded though the North of Tyne Recovery Innovation Fund, the grant was launched in June last year by the North of Tyne Combined Authority to enable a green and sustainable recovery after Covid-19.Projects with the potential to safeguard and create quality jobs, build a more inclusive economy and contribute towards the net zero agenda have all been given funding.

The project is being delivered by experienced grant fund managers NBSL and innovation and business support experts Innovation SuperNetwork.

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