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Leading European companies support the digitalisation of SMEs with the Digital Volunteers Pilot Programme

The Digital Volunteers Pilot Programme brings together digital experts from large companies who work as mentors in SMEs to digitally upskill their employees and digitalise their business activities. The participation of more than 40 leading European companies was facilitated by cooperation between the European Commission and the Conseil de Cooperation Economique. It runs until November 2021 with wider deployment taking place in 2022.

A man explaining a new software tool on the computer screen in an office room with 3 other ladies.

Photo by Leon on Unsplash, https://unsplash.com/photos/bzqU01v-G54

Small and medium-sized entreprises (SMEs) are the backbone of European economy. However, many do not grasp the benefits of digitalisation. EU's Digital Compass includes the ambitious target to reach over 90% of European SMEs with at least a basic level of digital intensity by 2030, up from 60% in 2020. The Digital Volunteers programme, announced in the March 2020 European SME Strategy is a key avenue for reaching this target.

Today, more than 40 European leading companies, from very different sectors, participate in the pilot, pledging to the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition to provide mentoring to SMEs. Their participation can be found on the Pledge Viewer where the first 22 organisations have already added their commitments.

Activities in the Digital Volunteer Pilot Programme include:

  • Integration of digital marketing tools to increase the company’s presence and online visibility
  • Co-designing and integration of CMS (content management system) or CRM (Customer relationship management) tools for more efficient and improved relationships and processes
  • Improving the digital footprint (website, social media,  Search Engine Optimisation) of SMEs to increase their visibility
  • Enhancing the customer experience with smart labels

Stay up to date with the latest on the programme by following the @DigitalSkillsEU social media channels. Organisations interested in supporting SMEs and their digital skills are encouraged to visit the Pledge Viewer and be inspired to take part and make a pledge. Potential pledgers can avail of a wealth of resources to help them from the Support Page with personalised support from the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition Secretariat.

The Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition exists since 2016 and brings EU Member States, companies and organisations together with the aim to bridge the digital skills gap in Europe. It directly contributes to the objectives of the Digital Decade and to reaching the relevant targets of the Digital Compass.