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IE FOUNDATION, J.P. MORGAN, THE CITY COUNCIL OF MADRID AND ORANGE UNITE TO BOOST DIGITIZATION FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

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• IE Foundation, J.P. Morgan, the City Council of Madrid and Orange facilitate the digitalization of small businesses in Madrid as a method of mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 health crisis and the economic crisis in the short, medium and long term.
• From June 2020 to March 2021, 70 Madrid-based small businesses will have the chance to develop their own digital strategy.

IE Foundation’s Center for Social Innovation has announced the second edition of the ‘Digital Transformation for Inclusive Business Development’ program. The initiative has the invaluable support of J.P. Morgan, Orange and the City Council of Madrid, with the latter provided via the General Directorate of Commerce and Hospitality within the Department of Economy, Innovation and Employment.

‘Digital Transformation for Inclusive Business Development’ facilitates the digitization of small businesses in Madrid in order to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in the short, medium and long term. The initiative prioritizes the neighborhoods that have been most hit by the economic and health crisis.

Thanks to this project, 70 small businesses in the Spanish capital now have the opportunity to develop their own digital plan. From June 2020 until March 2021, selected businesses will receive training and personalized support to help them develop impactful online strategies.

“Our collaboration with IE Foundation is part of our commitment to our community and small and medium businesses in Spain. SMEs are a huge source of income and employment, and offer key goods and services to their communities. The last few months have accelerated the need to help SMEs create strategies to digitally transform their businesses and guarantee that they can continue to play this vital role for our community now and in the future,” states Cristina Andrés, Senior Financial Officer at J.P. Morgan Iberia.

“Small businesses need immediate support to help them transform digitally in the short term, as well as a solid strategy to help them continue this process in the medium and long term.”

Concepción Galdón, Director of the Center for Social Innovation at IE University

“Lockdown has brought an economic slowdown that will only abate once a vaccine is developed. This will have a huge impact on small businesses. Small businesses need immediate support to help them transform digitally in the short term, as well as a solid strategy to help them continue this process in the medium and long term,” says Concepción Galdón, Director of the Center for Social Innovation at IE University.

Angélica Sánchez, SoHo and SME Business Director at Orange, explains that, “Once again, Orange proves its commitment to society at a difficult time for companies in Spain. In this case, we are teaching small businesses to open up their offering to the Internet, as this channel is more important than ever to ensure their products and services can reach as many customers as possible. We are also helping them improve their efficiency and business outlook.

Begoña Villacís—Deputy Mayor of the City Council of Madrid—notes that, as part of their support strategy for the business and hospitality sector, her team believes it is vital that SMEs acquire the tools needed to digitalize in order to improve their competitiveness and resilience. Some of the most important tools in this context include new grants for digitalization from 2020 to 2023, representing a total of over 2 million euros (with scope to extend this to 3 million), as well as the development of educational activities and programs like this one.

Once they have completed their training and until the end of the initiative, the selected businesses will receive pro bono support from IE University graduates of the Master in Visual and Digital Media program.

While completing the training, businesses will also undergo an exhaustive analysis of the project, which will include a detailed description of its scope, the results obtained and the lessons learned. These will be presented at a closing event attended by public and private institutions and NGOs. The event is open to the public and free to attend, and will take place virtually on the Center for Social Innovation website.