Launch of SMB digitisation programme headed by Ministry of the Economy, Chamber of Commerce, Chamber of Trades and Crafts, and Luxinnovation.
On 18 January 2018, the Ministry of the Economy, the Chamber of Trades and Crafts, the Chamber of Commerce, and the national agency for the promotion of innovation (Luxinnovation) presented a programme for the digitisation of SMBs, intended to hasten the digital switch in small and medium-sized businesses, and enable them to make the best use of the possibilities digital technology has to offer. Directed at SMBs in the sectors of commerce, industry, trades and crafts, and hotel and restaurant catering, the assistance provided to businesses is organised in a number of stages: raising awareness and providing information on what digitisation involves, a professional diagnosis of the business followed up by recommendations, and an accompaniment in implementing the solutions proposed.
Within the programme, the Chamber of Trades and Crafts with its ‘eHandwierk’ service and the Chamber of Commerce with its ‘Go Digital’ team are each proposing an initiative adapted to the needs of their members, to make businesses more aware of the challenges of digitisation and to provide them with information, guidance and advice regarding the measures to be taken. The stage of diagnosis by an expert and the subsequent stage of implementation are proposed in collaboration with Luxinnovation. During these two stages, the professional chambers will be relying on the offer of ‘Fit 4 Digital’ services developed by Luxinnovation to help SMBs get the most out of the digital technologies.
During their digitisation process, businesses may benefit from various types of financial aid from the Ministry of the Economy, including cover of the cost of the diagnosis (up to the sum of 5 000 euros). An information sheet on the assistance and aid for digitisation available to SMBs may be consulted online at Guichet.lu.
At the press conference, Secretary of State of the Economy Francine Closener said, “I am very pleased about this fruitful collaboration with our institutional partners and with Luxinnovation. This programme of digitisation for SMBs, part of the Rifkin Strategy, makes a reality of the ‘Pakt PRO Artisanat’ and the ‘Pakt PRO Commerce’.”
Chamber of Commerce Director Carlo Thelen said, “With the GoDigital scheme, the Chamber of Commerce and House of Entrepreneurship are offering tailor-made accompaniment to those VSBs, SMBs and SMIs who want to make a success of their digital transition. Our advisers will personally visit any entrepreneur interested in the programme to find out their real needs in terms of digitisation. The heads of smaller businesses often do not know where to start, and have a host of practical questions, including how to incorporate digital technology in their everyday working lives, and the cost of implementing a strategy of digital transition.”
Tom Wirion, Director-General of the Chamber of Trades and Crafts, said, “The mission of the Chamber of Trades and Crafts consists of increasing awareness, providing information, and guiding our businesses in their digital transformation, with the new 'eHandwierk’ service that is dedicated to digitisation in the trades and crafts sector. This sector is currently evolving towards digitisation. Our service will enable businesses in the sector to remain competitive and to gain new markets.”
Jean-Michel Ludwig of Luxinnovation explained, “Fit4Digital gives SMBs a neutral, external view of their current level of digital maturity. The programme offers tailor-made accompaniment by an approved expert in the identification and implementation of IT solutions that boost competitiveness.”