Create the opportunities for 100,000 small businesses to grow through digital.
We believe that digital technology can give the UK and Irish economies a boost by helping every business grow. We know that if businesses enhance their digital capabilities the potential boost to the UK economy is over £90 billion**. We also know that many small businesses aren’t getting all the benefits of digital technology. By providing ultrafast broadband access, inspiration, skills and advice we can help small businesses to thrive and grow. In return these businesses will create jobs, contribute to their communities and help drive a digital competitive advantage.
Here are our performance highlights for 2016, the second year of our 2020 Boosting business goal. If you are looking for information on what we’re focusing on for the remaining three years of the goal, take a look at our Goals roadmap.
Performance against our goal sub targets in 2016
Growing small businesses
2016 target - Continue to create the opportunities for 100,000 small businesses to grow through digital by 2020.
How we did – We've created the opportunities for 62,469 small businesses to grow since 2015. This is measured by the number of Virgin Media Business’ small business customers, Virgin Media Pioneers*, Voom competition applicants, Virgin Media Techstars finalists and the number of business owners who participated in our surveys, events, or featured content on the Virgin Media Pioneers* platform.
2016 target – 1,000 Virgin Media Pioneers* to have participated in activities to help their business grow, such as Pioneer of the week, digital skills training and completing the Power Up campaign survey.
How we did – 1,330 Virgin Media Pioneers* were given the opportunity to grow their business through a number of activations. One example was our Global Entrepreneurship Week event which gave attendees, through a series of masterclasses, the opportunity to build on their business skills and network.
Community upgrade I
2016 target - Launch a new Virgin Media Pioneers* website.
How we did - We launched a refreshed Virgin Media Pioneers* community platform in July 2016. The new platform has better data capture along with the latest in online community functionality including chat, gamification, blogging and analytics.
Community upgrade II
2016 target - Attract an additional 10,000 registered users to the new Virgin Media Pioneers* website.
How we did - We registered 4,427 new members. Despite a 51% increase in members compared to 2015 we fell short of our target. This is because the coming together of the Voom community and Pioneers community, which would have boosted the members by at least 5,000, was pushed out to April 2017 due to team changes.
*Virgin Media Pioneers was rebranded as Voom Pioneers in April 2017 as part of the merger of Virgin Media Pioneers and the Voom community. Voom is a national pitching competition to give entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized businesses the opportunity to pitch their ideas to expert judges and win prize money and business promotion opportunities.
** Virgin Media Business’s Digital Opportunity Report (2015): http://www.virginmedia.com/corporate/media-centre/blogs/realising-the-digital-opportunity.html