Bounce Back Digital

Bounce Back Digital is a free programme of webinars and short courses to help small businesses in Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay keep trading during the Covid-19 restrictions by moving some or all of their operations online.

The programme of 30 sessions covering a range of topics is the first of its kind in the country, delivered by the Heart of the South West  Digital Skills Partnership (HotSW DSP) and runs throughout June and July for any business in the area with less than 250 employees.

Businesses can learn about collaboration tools and channels to reach customers; how to set up their own e-commerce website; how to use Worldpay, Stripe & other payment gateways; digital photography and video; plus how to keep their business secure online.

Experts from across the region will host informative webinar ‘subject matter introductions’ and run over 20 free follow-on courses aimed at helping small businesses mitigate the impact of the pandemic on their business.

Digital Skills Partnership Manager, Charlotte Collyer said:

“This is a very exciting programme for the Digital Skills Partnership to be launching at this time. 30 free webinars and courses giving clear, practical tuition to help small businesses set up on-line and open up new markets securely and efficiently. We are the first Digital Skills Partnership in the country to be launching this type of programme, so our work has attracted national attention from other DSPs and from the Department of Culture, Media, Sport and Digital.”

“I encourage any business in the HotSW area to have a look at our programme and sign up for the training they need to Bounce Back Digital!”

The program launches on 1 June for registrations, with the first webinar being held on 8 June. Webinars are restricted to the first 100 registrations and courses are being deliberately kept to online classes of 15, to enable maximum engagement, interactivity and build peer to peer support and learning. The courses are short, ranging from one-hour to nine hours in total. The objective is that through the knowledge transferred the business is able to immediately set up and start using the new tool. The full programme of webinars and courses can be found here:

Chair of the Heart of the South West LEP, Karl Tucker said:

“The LEP is working on its COVID-19 Recovery Plan which will be published in the coming weeks, and this type of intervention to help businesses mitigate, adapt and grow are integral to the success of our future economy.

“This new programme of webinars and courses adds to the extensive business support resources provided by our Growth Hub and I would encourage businesses to take advantage of this programme.”

The webinars and courses are being delivered by experts drawn from across the South West and include digital trainers from Cosmic, LimeCloud, TechSparkUK, BlueScreen IT,WSX Enterprise and Natwest’s FreeAgent colleagues.

This is a free programme funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Digital Skills Innovation Fund delivered by the Heart of the South West LEP Digital Skills Partnership for the Heart of the South West LEP Growth Hub which supports businesses with free and impartial advice on starting up, development and growth.

Notes to editors:

Aimed at businesses who have either yet to adapt to digital practices to operate during Covid-19 restrictions or businesses who are in the process of adapting and could benefit from upskilling and learning new tool(s)

There is no limit to the number of sessions a business can book however businesses that book and subsequently do not attend will have future bookings being cancelled.

Eligibility criteria:

    • The Business is located in Devon, Plymouth, Somerset or Torbay
    • The Business has less than 250 employees

About the Heart of the South West Digital Skills Partnership

The Heart of the South West Digital Skills Partnership was launched in June 2018, bringing together the public, private and third sector to tackle the digital skills divide in Somerset, Devon, Plymouth and Torbay. Forming part of a pilot of six Local Digital Skills Partnerships (LDSPs), announced by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

The partnership coordinates and delivers a digital strategy that raises digital skills for our community, working to eradicate social and geographical imbalances to ensure everyone has access to digital services. The partnership also focuses on workplace mobility; ensuring the right digital training is available for young people, those outside of the workforce, work returners, employees looking to retrain and supports a workplace where the regions highly skilled digital employees can continue to learn. We work closely with the region’s education providers to ensure young people are aware of the diverse range of careers and are supported to enter into digital jobs, and that teaching staff are supported to teach digital subjects that keep pace with new technologies.

The partnership works in tandem with the National Digital Skills Partnership Board to ensure that the Government’s UK Digital Strategy is responsive to local needs and in return the local area can make the most of national opportunities, sector analysis to inform delivery, cross-government department collaboration and funding opportunities to overcome digital challenges.