Viewpoint | 12 Jul 2023

V-Hub: Helping small businesses become the best they can be

Nick Gliddon, Vodafone's UK Business Director, reflects on the success of the company's advisory service for small businesses as it celebrates its third birthday and a million users.

It’s not every day you become a millionaire! But this month our V-Hub advice and training hub for small businesses has reached the fantastic milestone of a million users in just three years.

That’s a great achievement that makes me very proud.

V-Hub is central to Vodafone’s purpose and central to our social contract. It’s something we’re genuinely committed to and have been so for a long time.

While our everyone.connected campaign address digital poverty, V-Hub – and our business.connected campaign more generally – helps small and medium-sized enterprises become more digital.

When we started this, no-one really knew if it was going to be of use or of value. But the team at Vodafone has created something that has been used by a million businesses in the UK. We’ve proven that it works.

And you don’t even have to be a Vodafone customer to benefit! That’s a real gift to society.

Vodafone helps over a million SMEs enhance their online skills thanks to its business support programme

V-Hub, created in lockdown to help small and medium-sized businesses, celebrates its third birthday.

I’m really excited to think about how we can scale and develop this, building on our success. V-Hub evolves and develops as it grows, adapting to the needs of its users. So for example, during COVID there were lots of questions about furlough and HR; post-COVID, there were lots of questions about how to navigate the cost-living-crisis and inflationary pressures.

We do a lot of listening to our customers and one of the biggest challenges they face is how to take advantage of digital but also mange the risks that come with it – data protection, technology failure, and particularly, cybersecurity.

This is becoming one of the biggest issues for small businesses. They suffer 10,000 cyber-attacks a day that cause an average loss to the business of £3,400. Around two-fifths of all small businesses have been hacked at least once over the last two years. Those are stark figures, so it’s great to know that Vodafone and V-Hub are on hand to help.

So I would like to pay tribute to all the partners and people who’ve made V-Hub’s success possible, including our training partner, Enterprise Nation, and our ambassador and business guru Steven Bartlett. He has led on this with a passion because he understands that business success relies on knowledge transfer, education and networking.

We really enjoy working with Steven – his enthusiasm is infectious – but he challenges us as much as he supports us, which is just what we need. V-Hub is definitely better because Steven Bartlett is our ambassador.

In conclusion, a little story.

I received an email one day from someone who had been using V-Hub to find out how he could make his business more digital. As a result of our advice, he said he created a new digital marketing role and so began the digital transformation journey. He thanked us for the service, saying we should be really proud.

But it was the p.s. at the end that made me smile.

“I’m not a Vodafone user,” he wrote, “but when my current contract ends I will be”!

What a great testament to a great V-Hub service. Here’s to many more years helping small businesses become the best they can be.


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