In Q4 2016 I was proud to represent Lloyds Banking Group and share the findings from our 3rd Digital Business Index report at the Digital Leaders Salon in Leeds. Hosted at the historic AQL HQ at Salem Chapel, the Salon was part of our Ambassador Programme, where each UK region has a dedicated Ambassador from the Group who works with regional stakeholders such as local MPs and Local Enterprise Partnerships to raise awareness of our activities across the UK, in order to support our wider ambition of Helping Britain Prosper.
Our mission to help more businesses reap the benefits of digital clearly resonates within the region. Representatives came from across charities, local businesses, education and local government to discuss this year’s report:
38% of small businesses and 49% of charities lack basic digital skills – these skills are what organisations need to make the most of the internet. Charities in particularly stand to make significant gains by going digital and representatives in the room gave examples to illustrate how digital is fundamental to their ways of working.
The most digital businesses are more than twice as likely to report an increase in turnover as the least digital. And more digitally mature charities are 28% more likely to report an increase in turnover of funding than less digital charities – but it’s not just about increasing turnover or revenue. In the room a number of representatives were passionate in explaining how digital creates a communications platform like no other – whether it is to spread a message or to source volunteers.
Proportion of charities taking online donations has more than doubled in the last year, from 24% to 53% this year – an impressive increase! Charities are being more efficient with their time and raising funds in a more cost-effective way.
Sole traders are less likely to invest in digital skills, with 78% investing nothing in 2016 – there was widespread agreement that we share a responsibility to help sole traders take steps towards digital. The links to building skills, as presented by Mark Goldstone from the Chamber of Commerce, are clear and there are a number of examples of the great work happening in the education space that we can build from.
Only one in five (21%) small businesses are currently using digital to support their overseas trade activities – attendees shared some surprising examples of how digital can enable opportunities from overseas. Selling teapots to customers in Asia was one which really brought to life the difference that digital can make.
It was great to be part of a movement which can genuinely change things in the local community. I look forward to future sessions! You can find advice for organisations to save money, time and raise awareness online at the Lloyds Bank Digital Know How Resource Centre.