Digital learning for local business women

Webinar highlights opportunities for development

Women in Business logo

Aspiring and existing business women from across Lanarkshire tuned in to a webinar on the digital world, as part of the successful Lanarkshire Women In Business pilot initiative.

The GO Digital event on 17 September was hosted by the Federation of Small Businesses and included expert speakers providing advice and insights to help new and established business owners unlock and accelerate digital development plans.

Over the year-long Lanarkshire Women in Business initiative, 550 women registered for the quarterly event series.

Cheryl Bennett from UK cloud and digital transformation specialists, Agilisys, opened with a thought piece, prompting attendees to consider what might be Coming Over The Digital Horizon.

This was followed by an up-beat session, delivered by CJ Morley from Connect 3, encouraging Lanarkshire women to "place digital at the heart of their businesses, to collaborate, fail fast and disrupt".

Kirsty Anne Martin from Bothwell-based Prepare 2 Party spoke from recent experience of investing in and developing her business digitally. The retail business recently moved to an e-commerce website that integrates stock management and finance systems, creating time efficiencies and data intelligence.

The session then moved on to focus on practical sources of support designed to help fill knowledge, skills and funding gaps that might be holding women back from progressing digitally.

Speakers included representation from Digital BOOST - a national initiative available locally in Lanarkshire (via Business Gateway) that provides free online learning and events - and 121 Digital Consultancy support.

This was followed by information on financial support available to enable digital investment in the form of the Digital Development Loan. The government-backed scheme can provide interest free loans from £5,000 to £100,000 to Scottish small to medium-sized enterprises who would like to increase their digital capability.

The final speaker of the day was from New College Lanarkshire, where a menu of support to help develop digital skills, was outlined.

Yvonne Weir, the council's Enterprise Development Manager, said: "GO Digital marks the fourth and final event in our Lanarkshire Women In Business pilot programme. We have had an amazing response throughout, and the feedback has been very positive. We chose digital for our final event as it is of increasing prominence and importance in all our lives and businesses. And it is a subject we felt strongly should feature in the event line-up this year.

"It doesn't matter whether you're getting started and creating an online presence or taking steps towards more advanced systems, processes or applications, the key message we wanted to share is that help is at hand. Digital can be a great catalyst to business growth and is definitely worth embracing."

Lanarkshire Women In Business is an events-led, one-year pilot initiative, organised and run by North and South Lanarkshire Councils, Business Gateway Lanarkshire, Federation of Small Businesses and New College Lanarkshire.

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