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Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has made available a £2m challenge fund for Local Enterprise Partnerships and their partners to deliver innovative and sustainable activity which helps SMEs improve their digital skills and ultimately trade and grow online.

This is part of the SME Digital Capability Programme, the UK Government’s programme to help SMEs make the most of the internet. Government has an ambition to help 1.6 million SMEs improve their digital skills and ultimately trade online, by 2018. The challenge fund encourages and enables innovative local approaches to engaging and supporting SMEs to improve their digital capability, alongside national activity to raise awareness of the importance of digital, and connect SMEs to the best tools, resources and support available.

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DigitalCity and the European Regional Development Fund

The DigitalCity Innovation and Growth project, (which is coordinating the Digital Capability Challenge Fund) is part financed by the North East of England European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs.

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Tees Valley Business Compass

Tees Valley Business Compass, a partnership between Tees Valley Unlimited (Local Enterprise Partnership), the five Tees Valley local authorities and a number of other public and private sector partners, is a support service for small and medium businesses in the area that offers advice and guidance on how they can access the most appropriate support to help them to achieve their growth potential.

To find out how Tees Valley Business Compass can help your business grow visit