Statement by Ryan Heath, on European regions encouraged to offer SMEs vouchers of up to €10,000 to go digital
Brussels - EC/Berlaymont
On 7 October 2013, Ryan heath, Spokesperson of Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Digital Agenda, explained a proposal aiming at encouraging European regions to offer SMEs vouchers of up to €10,000 to go digital.
The European Commission published a blueprint to help micro-enterprises and small businesses in Europe’s regions grow by using digital technologies.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior view of the Berlaymont building in Brussels
||Soundbite by Ryan Heath, Spokesperson of Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Digital Agenda (in ENGLISH): The Commission has a new blueprint in place and the idea is to get more of the regional structural funds in the hand of businesses that need to get digital. And we think about all of the fights that we have about the EU budget. What is really important is after we had those fights that we make sure that the money we allocate is really spent. And to make sure that we spend that money, we come up with the way for small business and micro businesses, this sort that are 1 to 5 people, so they can get cash to help them to build a website or develop digital customer relationship management or learn how to use specialist ICT services. And the reason we do that is that we know that business that go digital, they growth twice as fast, they export twice as much and create twice as many new jobs. S it is great for the businesses and great for our economy if we get more of this money on the ICT services.
||Soundbite by Ryan Heath (in ENGLISH): The way I would work is that each individual business would be able to access up to 10 000 Euros in these ICT voucher. So they would gain approval for these vouchers and they will exchange them for services. So tat is working with a website developer, working with someone who can help you using software in your business or maybe its training. So that you know how to use the equipment and the software and so you will exchange those vouchers for those services.
||Soundbite by Ryan Heath (in ENGLISH): Well, the potential is really quite huge; we are talking about ten of thousands of businesses, if they work with their regions to access this money. So we have pilots that are already quite successful and those are taking place in Spain, in Murcia, in (…). So what we want to see is that it goes out of Spain and that everyone in the Region across Europe gets access to this sort of money.
||Soundbite by Ryan Heath (in ENGLISH): So this is really good news that is relevant to every Member States because everybody has the challenge to go digital. We know that in lot of Member States, especially in regional areas, that business are not going digital very quickly. This is something no matter where you are in Europe, you could stand and benefit. We make sure we make full use of EU funds in a way that it is very efficient economically for all of us.