Get your Essex small business trading online in just eight weeks - with the E-Commerce Launchpad programme.

The E-Commerce Launchpad – supported by grants from The Department For International Trade (DIT) – is the only programme for SMEs in the UK which delivers practical training culminating in a fully-operational e-commerce website.

It consists of eight sessions which arms businesses with the fundamentals of e-commerce while acting as a step-by-step Shopify website build.

At the end of the programme, each business will own an e-commerce website while also having benefited from practical training support.

And businesses whose primary registered address in Essex are eligible to apply for match-funding from the DIT – meaning that 50% of the programme cost can be recouped.

The programme consists of:

  • One-to-one sessions, which include a situation analysis audit to help us understand a business’ state of readiness for operating online

  • Cohort sessions, which map out individual website requirements and promote peer-to-peer learning and support. This culminates in each business launching its own e-commerce website

  • Group-wide training sessions, which introduce a range of digital marketing and logistics opportunities to generate sales.  These include practical advice on branding, social media, photography and video, search marketing and fulfilment.

  • End-of-project support sessions, which comprises one-to-one evaluations and cohort events, three months after website launches, to discuss and plan future business activity and next steps.

At the end of the programme, each participating business will:

  • Have a fully-operational e-commerce website, built on the industry-leading Shopify platform

  • Be provided with one year’s website hosting

  • Have attended multiple practical workshops on attracting and retaining customers

  • Have made valuable connections with peers at the same stage of their business journey.

About The Programme: 

The E-Commerce Launchpad was launched with South Norfolk Council, with 25 small businesses benefiting from the programme.

Quickfire Digital has also supported Barnsley Council’s e-commerce programme of support for small retailers, and provides advisory support for Norfolk County Council’s Go Digital scheme.

We have also designed and developed a number of highly successful e-commerce websites on the Shopify platform.

We are keen advocates of the peer-to-peer, collaborative approach. This provides better results for businesses, who will be involved at every important stage of their website build.

At each step of the programme, businesses will be learning new skills and their involvement and decisions at each critical component of the website build process gives them a much stronger likelihood of ongoing success.

A place on the E-Commerce Launchpad programme costs £4,000, which includes training, a Shopify website and one year’s website hosting.

Businesses must meet certain requirements to be eligible for the match-funding from DIT. They need:

  • To have fewer than 250 employees
  • To be turning over more than £500,000 and less than £50m
  • To have received less than £200,000 of state aid in the last three years
  • To have products or services which are suitable, and ready, for export
  • To have significant international potential.

For more information please visit: https://www.great.gov.uk/campaigns/internationalisation-fund-for-english-businesses/

Ecommerce Launchpad Programme
Department of International Trade
Barclays Eagle Labs
Enterprise Nation
Ecommerce Launchpad - Essex DIT Campaign