Fear and uncertainty about internet technologies is putting many companies, particularly SMEs, off e-commerce, according to the agency behind a new internet skills training initiative.
The Greenwich Enterprise Board (GEB) is partnering with Business Link London to deliver free internet skills training to 500 SMEs under the new Business Success programme.
Companies resident in any London borough are eligible for the free training, provided by joint funding from the London Development Agency and the European Social Fund.
"Companies don't know how to get started and generally they come to us quite confused. We show them that it doesn't have to be that difficult," Deidre Alsey, IT manager at GEB, told vnunet.com.
"We work with sole traders to companies with up to around 20 employees offering tutor-led, very practical courses aimed at owner/managers and meeting their business needs."
The short modular courses cover a variety of areas, including e-commerce law, security and email marketing.
They are delivered by GEB and two training providers in north and west London. Business Link London is following up the training with e-business workshops.
Successful applicants have access to around 18 hours of free training. The courses were originally launched in August and 100 companies have already taken advantage.
"The courses are not just software-based. It's very much about business strategy. There's a huge demand for courses," said Alsey.
Client testimonials suggest that the training has been well received by London-based businesses.
"We didn't know how to use a mouse when we came to the GEB. Now we are sending out products all over the world," said Godfrey Munro, from Park Bee Keeping in Blackheath
"The internet has brought us some really interesting enquiries and we are now producing our own products."
The GEB has also set up Greenwich Gateway, an online directory to promote local businesses and help develop their web presence.
For more information on the free e-business training see the GEB website at www.geb.co.uk.
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