This practice aims to part-finance the use of external advisors in order to implement digital solutions and the acquisition of digital equipment or tools.
SMEs need external advice in order to help them to identify and choose the best solutions / tools that will enable them to grow, innovate and face their current challenges. In addition, SMEs need financial incentives to foster them to acquire these new digital solutions.
Through these Digital Vouchers, the Pays de la Loire Region supports SMEs in the key stages of their evolution, in a changing environment, and allows them to consolidate their decision-making in terms of growth and / or repositioning via the appropriation of digital uses with high added value
The vouchers include two different kind of financial support: a financial support to get advice from digital experts (50% of the amount excluding Taxes of the eligible costs - maximum amount: 15 000€) and a financial support to acquire new digital solutions (50% of the amount excluding Taxes of the eligible costs - maximum amount: 15 000€).
The Vouchers are financed by Region Pays de la Loire and the main beneficiaries are the companies from the region.
1 Full-Time Equivalent staff is required to run the instruction process for the 2 voucher schemes: Pays de la Loire Digital advice (financial support to get advises from digital experts) and Pays de la Loire Digital Investment (financial support to acquire new digital solutions).
Evidence of success
Some results of the past 2 years:
Pays de la Loire Digital Advice (launched during the summer 2017):
- In 2017: 9 beneficiaries / Total amount of aid granted: 43 684 €
- In 2018: 20 beneficiaries / Total amount of aid granted: 158 268 €
Pays de la Loire Digital Investment (launched in September 2017):
- In 2017: 16 beneficiaries / Total amount of aid granted: 170 815 €
- In 2018: 164 beneficiaries / Total amount of aid granted: 1 633 786 €
Potential for learning or transfer
The voucher is really benefit for SMEs and constitute a concrete response to the need for SMEs to conduct their digital transformation.
Relatively easy to run, it can be applied everywhere.
Furthermore, the most important aspect to make this action a success is the necessity to build a territorial network with a set of partners able to detect business needs and promote these two vouchers.
We are open to share our experience with structures that would like to implement a similar programme.