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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-19838: Dean Lockhart (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 8 November 2018

To ask the Scottish Government what support (a) Scottish Enterprise and (b) Scottish Development International offers to companies to trade via e-commerce, and whether this is reviewed on an annual basis.

Answered by: Kate Forbes 22 November 2018

Building on the e-commerce activity carried out by Business Gateway as part of their Digital Boost programme, Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Development International work together to provide additional support focussed support, especially aimed at international trade. The following describes activity overall between the two organisations.

  • Scot Exporter 2018, aimed at helping businesses to export with a focus on international online selling & e-commerce, was held in Glasgow in November 2018, with over 300 attending and with 70 attending.
  • Amazon Rural , aimed at selling online from rural Scottish locations, was delivered in partnership with SDI in rural areas of Scotland in Autumn 2018, with over 200 attending.
  • Amazon Academy was held in held in Glasgow on April 17 2018 with more than 300 companies attending . The focus was on international trade online with SDI/DIT supporting the event with international trade advice to Scottish companies attending.
  • Building Your Chinese Consumer Base – e-commerce , aimed at selling online to Chinese market, was hosted by SDI in Glasgow in partnership with China British Business Council (CBBC) in September 2018, with 40 companies attending.
  • ETAG and Digital Tourism Scotland (a partnership of seven organisations; Business Gateway, Scottish Government, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Skills Development Scotland and Visit Scotland) includes numerous events aimed at e-commerce within the tourism industry and run by SE.
  • International E-commerce Workshops , aimed at helping businesses to start exporting or to grow exports, and focussed on a range of topics including “developing an international digital strategy” and “International SEO & social media” have been developed by SDI.
  • Department of International Trade (DIT) events , aimed the subject of e-commerce and particularly on the subject of marketplaces as a route to market, have included SDI speakers. They have also developed a tool which has been used successfully by a number of Scottish companies to gain additional discounts through DIT deals with over 40 international marketplaces.
  • Publications , SE have published a number of e-commerce Insight articles on the SE web site: as well as a guide: Practical steps to grow your business through ecommerce
  • SE Digital Transformation Specialists work with high-growth businesses on key strategic areas of digital activity, helping companies to implement International e-commerce strategies. In total they have worked with over 600 companies in the last year on digital projects, many of which have been e-commerce

The work of SE and SDI on e-commerce is reviewed on an ongoing, rather than annual basis.

  • For instance, SE/SDI content for events, workshops and in online guidance is updated several times a year to remain current and cutting edge and ensure that it remains relevant to Scottish business.
  •  As further example, content within International Ecommerce Workshops has been further adapted recently to meet demands from Scottish business for eMarketplace training, with workshops on these topics being introduced from Autumn 2018.