UK Digital Champion Martha Lane Fox has launched a partnership that aims to get small companies and charities online.
The Go ON UK partnership brings together E.ON, Lloyds Banking Group, Post Office, TalkTalk, BBC, Big Lottery Fund and Age UK, which have pledged to promote the benefits of the internet to every organisation and individual in the UK.
Lane Fox said: “The private sector, including small businesses, will grow twice as fast as their competitors if they are online, and evidence shows that SMEs with a web presence do get significant benefits, with 68 percent saying it saves time and/or money and 37 percent agreeing it increases sales volumes.
“The charity sector is facing unprecedented funding cuts and rising demand for services. Working with charities to use technology to deliver the best services possible for end users and take the cost out of their business has never been more urgent.
“Go ON UK will push for a step change in how these sectors use digital.”
The partners have committed to covering the core costs of Go ON UK for the next three years, and to pooling resources and sharing expertise and networks to support the campaign.
The new partnership follows on from Lane Fox’s Race Online 2012 initiative, started two years ago, which aimed to get people online for the first time.
“We have seen over two million new people get more out of life online,” she said of the first campaign.
However, 8.2 million adults are still offline, Lane Fox said, and Go ON UK targets this group, as well as organisations.
“Failing to act now would result in charities and small businesses operating at a significant disadvantage as the rest of the UK becomes increasingly digital,” she continued.
Go ON UK was built on recommendations made by Capgemini, which conducted an independent review of Race Online 2012.
The partnership’s board members will now develop a national plan of activities for the first 18 months of the campaign, as well as the vision for the campaign for 2020.