|N E W S F E E D S >>>|
Your Business Connected?
1 October 2001
SMALL COMPANIES FALLING BEHIND IN E-BUSINESS STAKES
Small, and 'micro' businesses in the Highlands and Islands are falling behind the rest of Scotland in their uptake and awareness of e-commerce and its benefits. These are the findings of a survey carried out across the Highlands and Islands Enterprise area.
In Scotland as a whole 41 per cent of 'micro' businesses - those with less than 10 employees - now have a marketing website- in the Highlands and Islands the figure is 30 per cent. 86 per cent of Scottish businesses use email - the corresponding figure in the north is 72 per cent, and twice as many Highland companies (16 per cent) have 'no intention' of adopting any e-businesses solution as is the case in Scotland as a whole (8 per cent).
In a bid to combat this situation development agency Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has been striving to boost awareness and use of e-commerce amongst local businesses and are about to take the latest step in this campaign. A series of events is being organised throughout the Highlands and Islands over the next few months aimed at giving local companies an opportunity to see at first hand the benefits they might gain from adopting new technology or developing and improving on what they are already doing. The first events will be held in the Western Isles next week, in Stornoway on Wednesday the 10th and in Benbecula on Thursday the 11th, with the rest being held in a rolling programme reaching into the new year.
Each 'HIE Online E-vent' will include presentations by Highlands and Islands companies who have already adopted some form of e-business technique alongside suppliers from the area who will demonstrate some of the technology available. There will be a choice of seminars targeted at people with different levels of knowledge, experience or technical awareness. This means that there will be something of relevance for everyone irrespective of where their company is on the e-business 'ladder'. The events will also be backed up in the longer term by the E-business advisers in each Local Enterprise Company area who will be able to offer continued support to businesses in their own areas. It is hoped the events, which are being staged at a cost of #38,000 will attract as many as 700 small businesses from all parts of the Highlands and Islands.
The events programme also coincide
with the launch of a new e-business resource - a website where people
will be able to source a comprehensive range of information on online
trading and e-business - www.hieonline.org. It will include details of
forthcoming events in each Local Enterprise Company area.
"The Highlands and Islands are continually having to strive to compete with other areas, and the statistics in our study show that we are in danger of falling behind as far as e-commerce is concerned. This is particularly worrying because, as a rural and dispersed area and economy, we have more to gain than other regions by embracing these new technologies - and more to lose if we don't."
Find out More at HIE Event in
your area -