The Royal Bank of Scotland and Scottish Power have joined forces to create a dedicated web portal for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), offering business services, advice and networking opportunities.
The £70m joint venture, called Work24, has been established to create new channels of distribution for utility and banking services offered primarily to the companies' combined customer bases. But Work24 also has its eye on signing up SMEs from across the UK.
"Work24 aims to give small businesses in the UK a kickstart into the world of ecommerce," said chief executive Steve Ross. "It provides all the services a small business needs at the click of a mouse, backed by the resources of two of the UK's top businesses."
The site has facilities which allow companies to easily establish and operate ecommerce websites, including monitoring web traffic and dealing with orders online.
Office products and services procurement - such things as stationery, computer equipment and travel services - will be available through the site, which will include special offers exclusive to registered Work24 members.
There will also be a range of business information and advice services tailored to SME needs, as well as opportunities for networking with other Work24 users.
Ross has set himself a tough goal for the fledgling operation. "We aim to become the definitive small business portal within the next 12 months," he said.
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