@DigiLeaders @ Royal Horseguards: Hope and Support for #SMEs? #DigitalBidding to Access Money?

The 4th Digital Leaders Conference: Supporting Digital Adoption and Growth in SMEs was distinctly one of the best events I’ve ever attended – and I go to quite a few!

Best in terms of venue [with this20161201_1648001 most impressive staircase], speakers, format, inclusiveness of audience. The agenda is here.

I only note bullet points, as records of all their events are on the Digital Leaders website.

RUSSELL HAWORTH  of Nominet was the first speaker:

  • Making the most of being online
  • 10.5 million domain names .co.uk
  • 60% of employment in SMEs: 15 million
  • 10 million adults lack basic digital skills

1. Making the case for going online

  • can you build a website quicker than you can build a wall?

2. how to increase digital skills

  • how to navigate, how to link social media
  • SEO
  • payment issues

3. dealing with unintended consequences

  • IP
  • reputation – counterfeit
  • security – criminal activity
  • counter measures

I had heard KATIE O’DONOVAN from Google talking about Digital Garages before.

  • Digital Skills challenge
  • 30% of SMEs don’t have a website
  • Google helps SMEs with 7 physical DIGITAL GARAGES
    • 1st opened in Leeds
    • 3-6 months for seminars and mentoring
    • Platform agnostic
  • Training online:
    • 23 topics
    • 89 lessons
    • engaging activities
    • certificate endorsed by IAB

As a result:

  • 9 in 10 people changed
  • 2 in 3 saw positive results
  • 1 in 10 hired staff to do digital work!


  • Mobile cloud computing for SMEs
    • 2-3 million of start-ups each year in Europe
    • Free to adopt the latest technology
    • SAMSUNG was started by 1 man 40 years ago!
  • Technology does NOT deliver to the economy what we had hoped it would.
    • Big companies shed jobs.
    • Retail industry on its knees.
  • Providing technology to entrepreneurs means being a force for good.
  • Market research with 6,000 Western European SMEs.


  1. They want Solutions
  2. how they need them
  3. Consumer Market Intelligence Smartphone usage:
  4. video call
  5. video download
  6. mobile TV
  • Hardware has become a commodity
  • APPS matter
  • Mobile Device Management / Mobile App Management [MDM / MAM]

EDOARDO VOLTA – Enabling a Digital World – VP BUSINESS Delevopment, Mastercard

  • Online share of retail grew
  • High demand for MOBILE WALLET

SIMON DEVONSHIRE – UK Government Entrepreneur in Residence – @simondevonshire

  • was in conversation with


  1. Simon was recruited in 2014 and asked to look into SCALE-UP
    2. WITHIN Whitehall
  2. Digital is positive but also generates a lot of anxiety
    1. lost my name is a lovely success story of a children’s book
    2. Wilcox wellness and fitness another one
  3. We’re being held back by loneliness, obesity, addiction
    1. Who is going to address these social problems?

JAMES ALEXANDER – CEO of SME Accelerate Programme – CGI Group: smeaccelerate@cgi.com

  1. Big Data Analytics
  2. Digital Transformation
  3. Cloud
  4. Cyber Security
  5. Internet of Things

70,000 people in 40 countries

And now some SMEs:

  • From start-up to scale-up in less than 5 years.
  • Public Sector clients
  • New Supply Side Paradigm
    • SaaS: Software As A Service – which I am working on
    • BPaaS: Business Platform As A Service

2. SETH FINEGAN, UK CEO Informed Solutions

3. GARRETT GOODMAN, Director of Business Development – www.wochit.com

  • Video creation platform


  • The service to help you find what you need in the Local Shop Near you.

STEPHEN FRY – CEO of Hounslow Chamber of Commerce

  1. Policy Change for Freelance developers as ‘jobbing consultants’
  2. Accelerators / Incubators: remove business rates from premises

ROB EARNSHAW, Director of Digital City, part of Teeside University

  1. ERDF [EU Regional Development Funding] for the adoption of digital business
  2. Tech Visas

CATHERINE KNIVETT – Principal Officer for Digital Skills at the Greater London Authority

  1. Young Talent
  2. Inclusive Growth

All in all, an opportunity of getting to know how lots of people are trying to make a ‘digital difference’ – with and without Government. I came home with seven business cards, even though I had forgotten mine…

I learned that Government consists of 30,000 organisations. Hence it’s hard to find the right entry. But given the potential of my software for Open Data and my Public Interest perspective regarding financial and environmental data relating to climate change, I feel I MUST work with the right people in the civil service.

Here are top tips to sell to government by Emma Jones MBE – published in July 2016:

After I had heard Crown Commercial Services present their Bidding Pack to techUK members, I produced Digital Bidding.

Doesn’t that feel a little easier for SMEs than via the Contracts Finder without keyword search!…



About Sabine Kurjo McNeill

I'm a mathematician and system analyst formerly at CERN in Geneva and became an event organiser, software designer, independent web publisher and online promoter of Open Justice. My most significant scientific contribution is www.smartknowledge.space
This entry was posted in Digital Leaders, Digital Transformations, events, Governance. Bookmark the permalink.

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