For the last three years, thanks to funding from the Prince’s Countryside Fund, Good Things Foundation and three Online Centres have worked together to explore what it takes to be a Rural Enterprise Champion helping small businesses use digital technology. Together, this group of Online Centres helped 75 small and medium-sized rural businesses and community organisations and around 950 people who live and work in rural communities.
Our project for 2019/20 aims to up-skill rural businesses, through the design and test of a scalable Digital Enterprise Champion model. Digital Enterprise Hubs will both directly support rural businesses with digital skills; and train community organisations as Digital Enterprise Champions who will then train rural businesses in digital skills. This will create a model that can be scaled across the country to help more rural economies thrive.
We will design and test a model through which Digital Enterprise Hubs can train other community organisations as Champions, as well as supporting rural businesses, creating a cascade that can have an even bigger impact on rural economies. As well as helping rural businesses to grow, becoming more productive and sustainable, increasing the use of digital will drive a range of positive social outcomes including social connection, confidence and health and wellbeing.
Please see the below information to help you with the delivery of your programme.