• UK Business and Charity Digital Index - National and regional factsheets

    In order to provide the most actionable insight possible, a selection of the findings for small businesses are provided at a national and regional level. This delivers a more local lens for Government, industry partners and tech companies, enabling more targeted strategies for the digital inclusion agenda across the UK.

    Please find below an overview of some of our key findings at a national and regional level.

  • Select a region:

    • East of England

      The report shows that the East of England has the lowest proportion of small businesses with all six Essential Digital Skills, at only 48% . Despite this, the proportion on the cusp of achieving this is above average at 32%, which shows an improvement of the mindset, but also the need to continue momentum. In order to further improve, one key focus is on digital strategy and leadership, with 44% of leaders in the region not seeing digital as relevant to their businesses. Businesses in the region are communicating with their customers and suppliers digitally, with 90% having this skill. However, there are still areas where this region lags behind the rest, with only 35% able to store digital information on their suppliers and just 39% setting up their online content to cater to all.

      Download the report for the East of England
    • East Midlands

      62% of small businesses in the East Midlands have all six Essential Digital Skills, higher than the UK average of 56%. The proportion of small businesses who are offline has fallen significantly since 2014, with only 2% not using the internet. In spite of this, there are still some key areas of focus, 23% of organisations see Cybersecurity as irrelevant to them; an improvement on the 33% that had seen it as irrelevant in 2018.

      Download the report for the East Midlands
    • England

      In England, there are some key areas of focus that could be improved in order to increase the nation's digital capability. Working with organisations to demonstrate the business value driven by digital Is key, as 42% of leaders not seeing digital as relevant to their businesses. Online sales and the ability to store digital information are also areas for growth, with 43% lacking the ability to sell via online channels and store their information on customers and suppliers online.

      Download the report for England
    • London

      The report shows that London is ahead of other regions in terms of digital capability, having one of highest Index scores of 63, as well as the largest proportion of businesses with full Essential Digital Skills (63%). In spite of this, progress remains slow, with only 18% on the cusp of achieving all six skills and only 49% reporting that their online content is set up to cater to all. In order to further the adoption of digital, it’s important to for the region to focus on their digital leadership, with 44% of leaders in London not seeing digital as relevant to their businesses.

      Download the report for London
    • North East

      Of all the regions, the North East has the greatest need to focus on digital leadership and strategy, with almost half (49%) of leaders in the region of the belief that digital is not relevant to their business. This is reflected in the fact that only 49% of businesses in the North East have all six Essential Digital skills, below the average of 56% and amongst the lowest in the UK. Despite this, 86% are using Internet Banking and 88% are using digital communications to maintain their relationships with suppliers. In order to grow their digital capability and make the most of digital, businesses in the North East should look to increase their ability to make sales online, as only 37% currently report that they are doing so.

      Download the report for the North East
    • North West

      The report headlines paint a positive picture of digital capability in the North West. With Index score (61), the proportion of small businesses who have all six digital skills (57%) and the number of small businesses currently offline (1%) all improvements on the UK averages. There are, however, areas for growth with only 37% having reported the ability to make sales via online channels and 38% of leaders in the region not seeing digital as relevant to their businesses. These are important focus areas for the North West alongside key tasks such as storing digital information on suppliers and customers, which less than half (45%) currently report the ability to do.

      Download the report for the North West
    • Scotland

      Small businesses in Scotland are ahead of the UK average, with 60% having all six Essential Digital Skills and only 1% of small businesses now offline. In spite of this, there are now more small businesses offline than last year, where the regional data showed that all small businesses were online. To continue their growth, the adoption of digital strategies and support for leaders is imperative, with only 63% of leaders in Scotland of the belief that digital is relevant to their business. This year, the main areas for improvement are online sales and website accessibility, with only 48% making sales online and 50% of small businesses ensuring their online content is accessible to all.

      Download the report for Scotland
    • South East

      In spite of being slightly lower than the UK average in terms of the proportion of small businesses who have all six Essential Digital Skills (55%), there are less people offline in the South East than average (1%). In order to continue to grow their digital capability, leaders need to continue to adopt digital, with 41% of business leaders still not seeing digital as being relevant. Adoption of online sales should also be a key area of focus for the region, as only 36% of small businesses report the ability to do this, making it the lowest adopted digital capability in the South East.

      Download the report for the South East
    • South West

      In spite of having a below average proportion of small businesses offline (1%), the South West continues to demonstrate digital capability below the national average. The Index score in the region has increased from 49 to 57 since 2014, but remains below the UK average of 60, and the proportion of small businesses with all six Essential Digital Skills paints a similar picture with exactly half achieving this. The understanding of the relevancy of digital remains a key area of focus, with 48% of leaders in the region not seeing digital as relevant to their businesses.

      Download the report for the South West
    • Wales

      In Wales, the percentage of small businesses with all six Essential Digital Skills in Wales (59%) is higher than the national average. The region shows some promising digital capabilities, with 87% having the abilities to digitally communicate and to keep software up to date. However, there are key areas where Wales can improve and increase the adoption of digital. Digital relevance is one of these areas for growth, with 44% of leaders in the region not seeing digital as relevant to their business.

      Download the report for Wales
    • West Midlands

      Though the Index score of 60 in the West Midlands is above the national average, the region still shows room for development, performing below UK average in terms of the proportion of small businesses with all six Essential digital skills (53%) and the proportion of businesses still offline (3%). Cybersecurity is an area of interest in the region, with 80% of small businesses showing robust mechanisms to prevent hacking and 80% also backing up their critical business data. In spite of this, only 58% reported having cybersecurity skills and 21% do not want them.

      Download the report for the West Midlands
    • Yorkshire and the Humber

      The headlines from the report show the promise of digital growth for the region of Yorkshire and the Humber. This promise comes from an Index score (60) and the proportion of small businesses with all six Essential Digital Skills (56%) on par with the national average and a higher than average number on the cusp of full Essential Digital Skills (25%). In order to grow, there must be focus on cybersecurity and digital relevance. Only 56% of small businesses in the region reported having cybersecurity skills and 24% said they do not want them.

      Download the report for Yorkshire and the Humber
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    Case study video


    To date we have spoken to over 12,000 small businesses and charities on the phone, in order to shape the insights up to 2019. Every data point represents a small organisation, and we speak to a number of these people to bring their stories to life on how digital impacts their business or charity. This year we spoke to Green Room Nursery, based in Newmarket, to find out how they have transformed the business through digital, following the part closure of the Nursery due to family illness. Watch the video to find out more.

  • Business and Charity Digital Index 2019 – Green Room Nursery Case Study Video

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