- Google’s Dan Cobley and Business Minister Edwina Hart to formally launch a year-long initiative
- Campaign designed to encourage the 40% of Welsh SMEs without a website to get online
Welsh business owners will gather this afternoon in Cardiff to join Google in launching a year-long ‘Getting Welsh Businesses Online’ campaign - in partnership with the Welsh Government - to help boost the online economy in Wales.
According to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, around 40% of SMEs in Wales don’t have a website.Getting Welsh Business Online aims to show businesses how easy it is to get online and how the Internet can help them and the wider economy grow.
As part of the campaign:
· All Welsh businesses will be able to set up their first ever website for free through www.gbbo.co.uk/wales
- Google’s travelling ‘Juice Bar’ will offer free one-on-one digital health-checks and workshops, tutorials and hands-on advice across a number of Wales’ biggest cities for the first three months;
- Google UK has partnered with the Welsh Government to create a lasting legacy by identifying and training digital agencies across the Welsh counties who can continue to deliver training and workshops once the initial three month campaign has ended
Google’s events and workshops have been designed to support and advise businesses regardless of their technical expertise – from starting out and creating their first website, through to improving an existing website and online marketing.
Dan Cobley, Google UK’s Managing Director, will speak directly to around 400 Welsh business people about the free projects on offer at today’s launch at The Coal Exchange, where the UK’s first recorded £1million business deal took place. Minister for Business, Enterprise, Technology and Science Edwina Hart will also attend to welcome Google to Wales and encourage business owners to sign up for free online business training.Guy Christian started Guy Christian Hair Salon in 2007 in Cardiff. He began using online tools a year later and will tonight speak at the launch about how being online has helped him grow his business. Guy said:
“I try out different online tools then invest in the ones that are successful. Google Places has been particularly effective for my business.”
“The internet has enabled my product website to go international - we now get orders from all over Europe. An online presence allows your business to reach so many more people.”
“It’s fair to say our online advertising and marketing is what saved our company from disaster – getting online turned my business around and I’m proud of our success.”
Dan Cobley, Managing Director, Google UK, said:
“A recent Boston Consulting Group reportfound that small businesses actively using the Internet grow four times faster than those companies with no web presence. Together with the Welsh Government and other partners we want Welsh businesses of all sizes to understand the importance of the Internet and how easy it is to get online and contribute to the economic growth of the Welsh economy.”
Edwina Hart, Welsh Business Minister, said:
“Wales has a diverse and thriving SME sector, which plays a vital and dynamic part in the success of the Welsh economy and has the potential to be a driving force for economic recovery. By working with Google on this exciting initiative, we will be helping and educating many of these small businesses to access the type of support and advice they need to access new markets and opportunities to reach new internet customers across the UK and beyond. This initiative further compliments our commitment to provide high speed internet access to all businesses and homes across Wales through our Broadband Support Scheme and Next Generation Broadband for Wales project.”
Adrian Clark, Chairman of Cardiff & Co, said:
“Getting online is one of the most important marketing tools for businesses. You don’t need a huge investment to win a share of the online market but you do need the skills. Cardiff & Co will do all it can to spread the word that Google is making it easy for businesses in the Cardiff city region to sharpen up their new media skills. This campaign will help firms throughout the city region to become more competitive.”
Robert Lloyd Griffiths, Executive Director, IoD Wales, said:
“We in the Institute of Directors in Wales recognise the crucial need to enhance the requisite skills to create a business environment fit for the 21st century. Smart, efficient and intelligent use of the opportunities on-line can be a vital component of commercial success which will be a key driver of economic prosperity. We are delighted to be partnering with the team at Google to inform, educate and inspire business to be the best that they can be.”
David Russ, Managing Director of the South Wales Chamber of Commerce said:
“The future for all businesses in the 21st century is to develop an understanding from the most basic exploitation of web & email, through to expansive use of smart technology. By forging this unique partnership with Google, this enables companies in Wales to improve their knowledge & understanding with a world leader through these exciting & informative events.”
Gareth Bray Chief Executive at Business in Focus said:
"It's essential that the clients we support get to grips with how Google can help them to sell and communicate. This initiative is all about helping business people through providing practical tips and support, both online and face to face. As one of the largest providers of Welsh Government funded business support we were pleased to be approached by Google to partner them. We recognise the substantial value of this to our new and existing clients and we will do everything we can to help ensure its success."
Trish Chalk, Business Development Director at Chwarae Teg, said:
“We have a wealth of women entrepreneurs across Wales who are setting up or trying to grow their businesses online. Setting up online can support a flexible working schedule and allows many women to run successful businesses. Google’s Getting British Business Online campaign is a great opportunity for business owners to receive free bespoke advice on how to boost their business using the internet. We’re encouraging women across Wales to take advantage of the free workshops and one-to-one sessions on offer.”