Help to Grow: Digital - New government scheme helping small businesses

DSA Prospect Help to Grow: Digital - New government scheme helping small businesses

Perhaps one of the most obvious changes brought about by the pandemic is just how important technology has become. During lockdowns and restrictions, entrepreneurs and business owners found new ways to pivot and keep everything ‘business as usual’ with the use of new technology.

With the changing landscape around how businesses run with the support of digital solutions, the government introduced a second addition to their Help to Grow programme. The new online support scheme,  Help to Grow: Digital, will focus on providing SMEs across the UK the information and resources they need to boost business performance by embracing digital technology.


“Our own research has shown that just 40% of small business owners have used applications like cloud services and online data storage or back-up."

- Mike Cherry, National Chair of the Federation of Small


For businesses looking to break into tech solutions to help manage their accounting and customer relationships, this government initiative is a great opportunity to explore and purchase new digital services to support business operations.

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What is the Help to Grow: Digital scheme?

Businesses that meet the eligibility criteria will be entitled to claim a single discount towards the purchase of one approved software package. This discount will cover up to 50% of the total cost of the investment, to a maximum of £5,000 (excluding VAT).

All software providers must apply to the scheme and be approved, therefore it’s important that you consult the Help to Grow: Digital online platform before choosing a provider. There are currently 14 approved technology suppliers participating in the Help to Grow: Digital program.

You can find more information on the program here.

The types of software covered are:

  • Customer relationship management software that allows a business to store its customer contact and order data all in one secure, central location. 
  • Digital accounting software that makes essential business finance tasks like raising invoices, expense tracking, and sharing information easier to manage.
  • eCommerce software that helps a business sell its products and services online.

Is my business eligible for the scheme?

The Help to Grow: Digital scheme is open to all businesses from any sector.

There is certain criteria you need to meet to be eligible:

  • The business must be based in the UK and registered with Companies House, or a registered society that’s on the Financial Conduct Authorities Mutuals Register
  • Initially the scheme was only open to businesses with five or more employees, but this has been expanded to businesses with at least one employee.
  • Your business must have been actively trading for over 12 months, as well as an incorporation date of at least 365 day prior to your application
  • You must be buying the approved software for the first time

How do I apply for the Help to Grow: Digital discount?

The application for the Help to Grow: Digital financial discount is delivered through a new online platform which you can visit here.

You’ll want to explore the approved service providers, their costs, product features and support availability before moving forward with the application process. The Help to Grow: Digital website provides a short quiz and comparison tool to help you decide which software may be best suited for you and your business needs.

After using the comparison tool to evaluate the software options and determine which you'd like to use, you'll continue to follow the screen prompts which will lead you to the discount application process.

It’s important to ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria, if you’re unsure we recommend speaking with your accountant or business advisor.

The application will take you through four sections:

  • Your chosen software
  • Your business
  • The applicant
  • Email verification

To complete the application you will be asked for:

  • The Companies House or FCA Mutuals Public Register number of your business.
  • Your name, position in the company and work email address.
  • The number of employees within your business.

If you're application is successful and you pass all eligibility criteria and checks, a unique link to your chosen software suppliers' website will be provided. Here you will be able to review the final cost breakdown and complete your purchase with the discount applied.

It's important to remember that your discount and unique link will expire after 30 days.

What are the business benefits of going digital?

The benefits of technology in business have been researched for quite some time. According to a recent survey commissioned by Sage, “over two-thirds of SMEs said investing in further technology would benefit their business, while nearly three quarters (71%) reported that technology would increase their profitability”.

When considering the transition to digital software, look at how the product will help you:

  • Grow your business in a sustainable way
  • Save you time and money
  • Boost your productivity and that of your team
  • Manage finances and build customer relationships


“Adopting technology means higher performance, and the Help to Grow: Digital scheme is future-proofing our small businesses and putting the UK at the forefront of the worldwide digital revolution”

- Kwasi Kwarteng, Business Secretary


How can DSA Prospect help?

There are numerous online accounting packages available and it can be difficult to make a decision on which one is the best for your business.

Our experienced team is available to make recommendations on the best suited provider to support your productivity and growth. Get in touch with them to book a time to discuss your options.

Subscribe to the DSA Prospect NewsletterThis blog was updated 05/08/2022

Disclaimer: The information shared on the DSA Prospect website and social media accounts (inclusive of all content, blogs, communications, graphics, guides and resources) is meant to provide helpful insight and discussion on various business and accounting related topics. It contains only general information that is subject to legal and regulatory change and is not to be used as an alternative to legal or professional advice. DSA Prospect Limited accepts no responsibility for any actions you take, or do not take, based on the information we provide and we always recommend that you speak with qualified professionals where necessary before making any decisions.


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