With over 5.5 million small businesses and counting since 2021, the UK’s small business economy is a huge asset to the UK. But in a challenging financial landscape, where 96% of small firms are concerned about rising energy bills* and the cost of living, the small business economy is under threat, perhaps even more so than during the pandemic.
SallyAnne Gibson, Beauty Director of Limisha Nails & Beauty Training
SallyAnne of Limisha Nails & Beauty Training in Romsey, Hampshire was one of those businesses facing such challenges. After her business ‘essentially collapsed’ during the COVID-19 pandemic, she restarted her business in March 2021, but has been struggling to keep it running in such a challenging climate. She said:
“I have some business experience, but I realised that in today’s changing world, my experience was of little use, and I was beginning to sink financially and emotionally until I discovered Digital Boost…I am so grateful that I found them; in fact, I cannot express how grateful I am for their assistance. They have been mentoring me via video calls and are assisting me in understanding the entire business, including social media, websites, financing, and much more. I am finally looking forward to my business venture.”
Digital Boost, owned by leading educational charity Founders4Schools, is a free online mentoring and learning platform designed exclusively for small businesses. Unlike a traditional mentoring programme where SallyAnne would have been matched with a generalist mentor, Digital Boost quickly connected her to true industry experts in strategy, social media, website design, financing and more, meaning that every step of the way she was getting specific, personalised 1:1 advice for her business that she could action right away.
There’s a lot of noise out there for small businesses to wade through, with expensive programmes selling “expert” knowledge but falling short of getting businesses the results they so desperately need to stay afloat. Digital Boost cuts through this noise, matching businesses with industry experts for free – usually within 72 hours – and giving both small businesses and volunteers flexibility to fit sessions into their schedules.
The focus on the human is what makes Digital Boost unique, and it’s what attracts mentors like Nick from NatWest to the programme. When asked why he mentors with Digital Boost he said:
“Small businesses are the backbone of the UK” that provide “really important injections of money that every community up and down the country needs”.
“So before the pandemic, most days I was delivering workshops or conferences or interacting with different groups.” This all changed overnight so “when Digital Boost came along…it just felt ideal [and] meeting all those different founders that I’ve been lucky enough to work with has been really, really enjoyable and fulfilling.”
Thousands of mentors just like Nick, from other small organisations and global companies including EY, Mastercard, Bloomberg and Google, all volunteer their time at Digital Boost to support founders and give them expert help, all for free.
If you’re a small business or charity, Digital Boost can help you through this challenging time.
Interested in giving back to our small business community? We’re always looking for new volunteers to join our community and help us keep supporting small businesses! Our volunteering is fully flexible and easy to fit into your schedule, find out more here.
*Source: FSB, ‘Cost of Doing Business Crisis’, 20/09/2022
About Digital Boost
Digital Boost is a community of friendly volunteer experts who love to help small businesses and charities thrive. From building a website and launching digital advertising to developing a business strategy and finding funding, we make it easy for small businesses to connect with people who’ve done it all before – for free. Owned by the educational charity Founders4Schools, we are supported by a range of partners including the BCG Digital Ventures, Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, NatWest Group, Bloomberg, and BT.
Get in touch
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