The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has announced a new collaboration with Facebook to help address the digital skills deficit in the UK’s small businesses. FSB research found that a quarter (26%) of small business owners lack confidence in basic digital skills and says that left unchecked this will further stall productivity growth in the UK.
Having called for both the government and industry action to tackle this skills shortage, FSB has now invited Facebook to collaborate in creating and delivering a series of custom-made in-person training for small businesses across the UK, launching on 20 May.
Martin McTague, FSB chairman, policy and advocacy said, “Digital innovation provides enormous potential both for individual businesses and for improving UK productivity. But these benefits can only be realised if small business owners are able and confident to take advantage.
“That’s why support to improve digital skills among small business owners is so important and why FSB is now collaborating with Facebook to deliver that support. We’re particularly pleased that this will be delivered through in-person training which we know many business owner’s value.”
Facebook vice president Ciaràn Quilty said, “Small businesses are the backbone of UK economy and create the majority of private sector new jobs. Through the Boost Your Business initiative, in collaboration with FSB, we’ll work side by side with small businesses and start-ups to help them grow. We’ve created additional programmes to help people with the skills and resources they need to grow their businesses or put their own ideas into action.”
FSB believes that big businesses, as well as the Government, have a role to play in helping small businesses to improve their digital skills.
The initiative, Boost Your Business with Facebook and FSB, will provide in-person training to help entrepreneurs get started on digital and help smaller businesses get the most from the internet, enabling them to compete in the new economy. The series will kick off in May and run until the end of the year with an opportunity for small businesses from every part of the UK to attend.
This is not the first time that FSB and Facebook have collaborated. The two partners on Facebook’s #SheMeansBusiness initiative, which is a space for entrepreneurial women to make valuable connections, share advice and move forward, together.