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Government to help small companies get to grips with ICT


An interesting article in this months Professional Manager magazine outlined how small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) are struggling to make the most of opportunities presented to businesses by employing ICT solutions because of fears of the unknown or being sold mis-information. Brian Clegg's article outlines a government initiative that is aiming hopefully to change all this.

Reasons for SME's given are that usually they do not have the resources to employ dedicated ICT expertise or at least the time when staff are more interested in looking after their core business.

Microsoft actually run a small business task force and it was this company that highlighted the issue. From this a group has been set up whereby they meet every two months and from their observations of issues facing small businesses, a public/private sector initiative, Technology Means Business (TMB) evolved.

The strength of this initiative is because of the combined efforts of the DTi, corporate sponsors Microsoft, Intel, BT and Compaq and the Institute of Management that operates the scheme.

TMB provide training and accreditation for advisors who can give independent systems advice to SME's. Some suspicion was greeted with this initiative to begin with as it was felt that the corporate sponsors have a good reason to push their particular products, however since the initial injection of funding, they have in fact taken a back seat.

TMB is now live, they have completed a pilot, are opening fourteen accreditation and training centres around the country and there are more than 500 candidates in the process.

For further information here are a list of web-sites linked with the TMB initiative.

Technology Means Business Website

Information Society Initiative Website DTi scheme to raise awareness of the benefits of ICT in small businesses

Business Link advice online Website

Federation of Small Businesses Website


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