Last chance for any family-run firms who want digital support

By Nick Batten on 26 April, 2021

On the whole, family businesses seem to have fared relatively well during the pandemic, with businesses and consumers increasingly turning to local, community-minded companies over lockdown.

Now, as part of a wider government effort to boost the productivity of family firms, family businesses in South West England are eligible to apply for a programme of free advice and support to improve and streamline their business processes.

Delivered by Business West, Evolve Digital is a fully funded national programme, designed by Lancaster University Management School, which offers family businesses the opportunity to identify hotspots in their processes that could be improved by digital technology, in a supportive environment and at zero cost. But interested businesses need to be quick – the deadline for applications is 28th April.

Whether it’s their first foray into online sales, electronic invoicing or working remotely, the Evolve Digital programme will enable family businesses to identify key areas where digital technology can benefit them and give them the skills and confidence to drive change and create a competitive advantage that technology affords.

Jane Purdy, Enterprise Manager at Business West, is overseeing the programme. She said, “The programme will run over three months and by taking part companies will help to inform government strategy to shape support for family businesses during these challenging times.

“During the course of the project companies will learn to prioritise areas where digital technology can transform their business and be given the tools to create a strategy to future Ends proof their business for future generations.

“Successful applicants will be randomly allocated into two groups, one of which will receive facilitated learning with other family businesses, to look at the process in their business and to identify if technology could be introduced and save time. The other group will receive access to the same content to go through at their own pace but will not interact with any other businesses. It really is an exciting opportunity for family-run businesses and all at no cost to them!”

To find out more and get involved please visit: