Posted on: 11/05/2018
The opportunity within the digital single market is great for SMEs, particularly with GDPR coming into force.
The Digital Single Market could contribute €415bn to the European economy, boosting jobs, growth, competition, investment and innovation. It can expand markets, offering better and more cost-effective services, transform public services and create new jobs. It can create opportunities for new start-ups and allow companies to grow and innovate in a market of over 500 million people.
Small and medium enterprises (SME) contribute 47% of revenue to the UK economy. However, at the moment only one in five SMEs are exporters and research suggests that between 9% and 12% of non-exporting firms within the UK could become exporters. The digital age has assisted companies and has encouraged SMEs to trade internationally, but there is room for improvement.
The Digital Catapult states that, if the full potential of digital technology was realised, it could add £10.5bn per year to total output between now and 2020 in the UK. The digital manufacturing sector alone provided 2.6m jobs in the UK in 2015. There’s plenty of opportunity within this scope for SMEs willing to innovate and fulfill the gaps in the market.
The rise of the internet means that new regulations need to be formulated to protect the identity of online users. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect from 25th May 2018. It’s important that SMEs know what this change means to their business and how to prepare for it, but also be aware of the opportunities that arise as a result. It’s also important to be aware of any tools that have been (or are being) designed to minimise the risks to businesses of all sizes, which creates opportunities to SMEs within the digital space.
The Digital Single Market is made up of three pillars, which are important to note because they interlink with GDPR and reveal areas for potential product innovation. The European Commission’s strategy says the Digital Single Market will cover:
Access: better access for consumers and businesses to digital goods and services across Europe;
Environment: creating the right conditions and a level playing field for digital networks and innovative services to flourish;
Economy & Society: maximising the growth potential of the digital economy.
As a result the opportunity within the digital single market is great for SMEs. If SMEs have a product or service which can complement the European Commission’s three pillars, chances are there’s great scope for growth.
At Exemplas we’re experts in providing SMEs the tools and advice they need in order to excel as a business. We are able to deliver projects on your behalf and get results. Our advisers are at the heart of what we do and their knowledge becomes an SME’s advantage within the market. Like any good mentor, we follow our clients’ progress and supply the right knowledge, precisely when it’s needed – at every stage of their journey.
The Digital Single Market is a booming industry and one which can provide fruitful benefits to both businesses and the UK economy as a whole. Our role is to help businesses prosper through growth and as a result create new jobs. We currently deliver a number of projects on behalf of the likes of Innovate UK, European Regional Development Fund, the European Commission and lots more. Get in touch to hear about how we can deliver a project on your behalf to an exceptional standard.