- Vodafone launches V-Hub, a platform to help small businesses develop their digital capabilities as they get back on their feet following the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Entrepreneur and former Dragons’ Den investor Piers Linney will act as an adviser as part of the V-Hub’s tailored 1-1 guidance service, including taking calls from small businesses.
- The V-Hub platform will give small business customers access to a team of advisers who will provide one-to-one support on how to build an online presence, from creating a website and enabling online sales to managing online security risks and digital marketing.
- More than three quarters of small businesses believe they need to expand their online skills and knowledge, according to Vodafone research, and 40% believe they need improved online sales skills to respond to the Covid-19 crisis.
- Vodafone’s new weekly podcast ‘Business Unusual’, hosted by TV personality Claudia Winkleman and aimed at the small business community, will be available to listen to and download via the V-Hub platform.
United Kingdom: Entrepreneur and former Dragon’s Den investor Piers Linney has teamed up with Vodafone for the launch of its V-Hub business support platform, aimed at helping small businesses be more effective online while staying safe.
V-Hub users will have access to one-on-one support with a dedicated business adviser, as well as access to an online knowledge centre that will be continually updated. Unlimited access to the both will be free throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
Piers, who has over 15 years experience in running and guiding successful businesses, will be providing informative content for the V-Hub platform, highlighting his best tips and tricks for running a business. Piers will also be joining the V-Hub one-to-one business guidance team for a day to provide guidance over the phone to small businesses.
The V-Hub launch comes as research conducted by Vodafone found 77% of small businesses feel they need to make better use of digital tools to grow their business, and 82% need to expand their presence online. 40% felt that lack of online sales knowledge has held them back during the Covid-19 crisis, and one in four felt they didn’t know enough about online security threats.
The Vodafone V-Hub platform can be found online. The service is simple to navigate – users select which online discipline they are keen to focus on, and are then matched to an adviser. The V-Hub provides content for the following areas:
- Building an online presence – including web design, selling online and marketing. All are essential to surviving the Covid-19 crisis.
- Online security – helping to protect small businesses from the massive rise in cyber-attacks since the Covid-19 crisis began.
- Remote working – something that has quickly become a necessity, raising challenges around wellbeing, productivity, satisfaction and security.
Piers Linney, Entrepreneur and Vodafone V-Hub Adviser, said: “Vodafone’s V-Hub platform is an excellent resource for any small business looking for tips and solutions to improve their digital operations. As the economy continues to steer itself through the Covid-19 crisis, businesses will be more reliant than ever on being online – many small businesses need to upskill, not just to make the most of being online, but to do it safely and securely. Digital skills in the current climate could prove essential to their survival.”
Anne Sheehan, Director of Business at Vodafone UK, said: “It is so important to the UK that the small business community makes it through this crisis. We’ve made broadband and Microsoft 365 free for six months, and now we’re providing free access to guidance that can help businesses build their online presence, or get online for the first time. We’ve helped our customers through plenty of change over three decades at Vodafone, but never has the pace of change been so rapid and so vital to staying afloat. We are here to help you navigate these changes, and make the most of new opportunities.”
New and insightful content will be regularly added to the platform, including episodes of Vodafone’s new weekly podcast, Business Unusual, created to offer guidance to the small business community. Each week, Claudia Winkleman will speak with a different small business owner to discuss their approach to dealing with changes and challenges, before and during the Covid-19 crisis.
Last month, Vodafone made Business Broadband and Microsoft Office 365 free for six months to support the UK’s small business community. Vodafone has also implemented a new policy for businesses that are most at risk within its supply chain to ensure that micro and small suppliers are paid in 15 days.
Notes to Editors
Business Unusual Podcast Guests:
- 7 July – Freddie Blackett, CEO, Patch Plants
- 14 July – Howard and Vivien Wong, Co-Founders, Little Moons
- 21 July – Born Barikor, CEO and Founder, Our Parks
- 28 July – Steven Dring, Co-Founder, Growing Underground
- 4 August – Chris Sheldrick, CEO and Co-Founder, what3words
- 11 August – Michele Scott-Lynch, CEO, Bouclème
- 18 August – Russell Bisset, Founder, Northern Monk
- 25 August – Tessa Clarke, CEO and Co-Founder, OLIO
Research sample size was 310 UK based small and medium sized businesses, with 1-150 employees.