Google to give small businesses a digital boost

Online shopping is popular but few shops offer it in Luxembourg Photo: Shutterstock

Online shopping is popular but few shops offer it in Luxembourg Photo: Shutterstock

Luxembourg’s House of Entrepreneurship has teamed up with Google to provide training opportunities in digitalisation for around 2,000 small and medium-sized enterprises in the country.

The digitalisation of SMEs, including e-commerce and digital marketing, could generate €3.2bn in additional revenue, the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce said in a statement, based on its own research and public data.

The House of Entrepreneurship forms part of the chamber and provides support to people setting up their own businesses.

“The Chamber of Commerce and Google want to eliminate the unjustified fear of digitisation and guide Luxembourg entrepreneurs on their journey towards an optimised online presence and effective digital marketing strategies to reach an increased number of customers,” said the chamber’s director, Carlo Thelen, in a statement.

The online programme “Grow with Google” will be available in three languages and offer digital workshops on topics such as communication and social media but also e-commerce and marketing, and digitalisation of workflows to gain in productivity.

The programme aims to target 2,000 SMEs in the country.

“Digitisation has acted as a shock absorber during the covid-19 crisis and it supports businesses in times of economic recovery,” said SMEs minister Lex Delles. “It is therefore essential to prepare for digitisation, and this is particularly true for small and medium-sized enterprises which are already playing a leading role in terms of economic growth and job creation in Luxembourg.”

An online shop for Luxembourg businesses, Letzshop, saw a more than 1,400% increase in orders last year while shops went into lockdown. The ministry for small and medium-sized enterprises waived a subscription fee for traders in 2020 and 2021 to encourage more local vendors to sign up.

Only 7-9% of Luxembourg stores offer online shopping, Thelen told Paperjam in an interview earlier this year. But during the pandemic, the number of people who buy online grew to 85% of internet users in Luxembourg.