- Support for digitalisation
- Fostering innovation
- Support of SMEs
The instrument is available for German small or medium-sized trade and craft enterprises, that have fewer than 100 employees and less than €20 million annual turnover in the previous year.
The programme go-digital funds targeted consulting for SMEs by authorised consulting companies in the modules 'digital business processes', 'digital market development' and 'IT security'. The goal of the project is to support the digitalisation and IT security of German SMEs. The plan may also help companies establish teleworking systems.
The consulting services that the companies may use are:
In the 'digital business processes' module:
- Introduction of e-business software solutions;
- Implementation services in areas of shipping and returns management, logistics, warehousing, electronic payment processes;
- Establishment of secure electronic and mobile processes.
In the 'digital market development' module:
- Development of a company-specific online marketing strategy;
- Establishment of a professional, legally compliant website;
- Use of external auction, sales or service platforms as well as social media tools, website monitoring and content marketing;
- Subordinate business processes of an online shop, such as the provision of goods and payment processes;
- Advice on the various aspects of professional online marketing.
In the 'IT security' module:
- Risk and security analysis of an existing or newly planned operational ICT infrastructure;
- Measures to initiate/optimise operational IT security management systems;
- Creation of an independent IT operation.
Consultancy services in a selected main module with any necessary secondary modules are funded with a funding rate of 50% to a maximum daily consultant rate of €1,100. As a beneficiary, the company only pays its own contribution to the consulting company. The maximum amount of funding is 30 days within a period of six months.
The programme will be available until 31 December 2021.
- National funds
Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy
An answer to a parliamentary request for more information is available for the pilot phase of the project. According to the federal government's answer, 24 consultations led to financial funding in the pilot regions North-Rhine Westphalia and Saxony in 2015. In total, funding worth over €113,500 was granted during this stage. In the first four months of 2016, 86 consultations were successful and led to a funding with total worth over €605,000. Numbers of total applications or consultations held are not available. However, the pilot was deemed as successful and was rolled out all over Germany in 2017.
One of the main advantages of the programme is its low administrative or bureaucratic burden for companies as they need to cooperate with a consultancy service. Companies using the programme receive support with all steps of the process. In addition, some 250 consulting services are available all over Germany. These consultancy services provide expert knowledge, especially for SMEs, and cooperate closely with research institutes or universities.
The programme is mostly used by services businesses and not so much by businesses from other sectors (such as crafts). In addition, application procedures need to be assisted by a consultancy. However, if done properly, a high share of applications is approved.