Getting Welsh Business Online Google launch in Cardiff

Google is trying to encourage more Welsh businesses to get online as figures show around 40% of small firms have no website.

It said 33% of businesses in Wales have access to sell goods and services online compared to the UK average of 39%.

Business Minister Edwina Hart said the Welsh government was working with the internet company to help small businesses "access new markets".

The first event was held in Cardiff.

Ms Hart and Dan Cobley, Google UK managing director, addressed about 400 delegates at the first free conference and launch event at the Coal Exchange on Tuesday.

Mr Cobley said: "Together with the Welsh government and other partners we want Welsh businesses of all sizes to understand the importance of the internet and how easy it is to get online and contribute to the economic growth of the Welsh economy."

'Economic recovery'

Google UK plans to train digital agencies across Wales to deliver training and workshops once the initial three month campaign has ended.

Its travelling "Juice Bar" will offer free one-on-one digital health checks and workshops, tutorials and hands-on advice to small business owners, including how to acquire a web presence or improve the one they already have

Ms Hart said "diverse and thriving" small to medium-sized businesses have the potential to be a "driving force for economic recovery".

"By working with Google on this exciting initiative, we will be helping and educating many of these small businesses to access the type of support and advice they need to access new markets and opportunities to reach new internet customers across the UK and beyond," she said.

The Cardiff event will be followed by others in Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil, Newport, Swansea and Wrexham.

Other partners involved include the Institute of Directors in Wales and South Wales Chamber of Commerce.

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