Digital Kit: 12,000 euros from European funds to digitalise your company.
The Digital Kit programme receives 3 billion euros from the Next Generation European funds. It is non-refundable aid which aims to make Spanish companies more competitive through digitalisation. What makes Digital Kit different from other programmes or funding? It could be summed up in one word: simplicity.
Which companies can order the Digital Kit?
There are three types of aid by number of employees of the beneficiary company:
- Segment 1: companies with 10 to 49 employees. The vouchers are 12,000 euros per company. The first call, on 15 March, is worth a total of 500 million euros and this is already being increased by 100 million euros given the large uptake: 61,000 applications submitted and 9,000 already approved.
- Segment 2: companies with 3 to 9 employees. The grants will be worth 6,000 euros and the call for applications is expected to be made in July 2022.
- Segment 3: companies with 1 or 2 employees and self-employed individuals. The voucher is worth 2,000 euros. Applications for them are expected to open in October 2022.
Who digitalises the company? Digitalising Agents
The Digital Kit does not allow companies to go to a store or call their supplier to buy a computer, for example, or to order a website. Investments must be channelled through so-called Digitalising Agents. These are companies authorised by Red.es to provide technological solutions and get paid in these vouchers.
The list of Digitalising Agents can be consulted at Red.es. Over 8,000 companies have already signed up. They can be searched by name, specialisation or province where they are located. They include KPMG Impulsa, which is collaborating with Bankinter in this process: an online management company for companies and freelancers, providing services such as management of payroll, accounting, billing and taxes.
Digitalising Agents not only provide services and digital products, they can also be directly responsible for the formalities of making applications on behalf of the beneficiary. In this case they are called Volunteer Representatives. Their purpose is to further facilitate access to this programme for SMEs. They can appoint, as Representatives, not only Digitalising Agents but also agencies, advisors, business associations, etc.
How does KPMG Impulsa act throughout this process? In addition to being a Digitalising Agent, offering all its online management services free of charge for one year, it also processes applications for any other digital solution. For now, 100% of the applications that have been processed through KPMG Impulsa have been granted.
What investments does the Digital Kit cover?
The grants cover up to 12,000 euros, but not all the funds have to be spent on the same service or product. The Digital Kit catalogue covers 10 different digital solutions and each of them has a grant cap.Grants of up to 1,000 euros:
- Electronic billing. Generation, management and storage of invoices.
- Web and internet presence. From domain names and hosting to web design, search engine optimisation, responsive design (adapting web pages to all devices) and content management systems (CMS).
- Online store. Implementing e-commerce, product catalogue, payment and shipping methods and even search engine positioning.
- Social media. Content strategy in social networks, publication, monitoring and management of company profiles.
- Customer management. Digitisation of the data of actual and potential customers, generation of leads, creation of newsletters, etc. Includes software for centralised management of the entire digital marketing process.
- Business intelligence and analytics. Everything related to Big Data. From storage to data management, export and visualisation.
- Management of processes. Everything related to digitizing and automating processes in the area of operations and production. Like accounting, billing, budgets, inventory, human resources and logistics. This is the service offered, for example, by KPMG Impulsa.
- Secure and encrypted communications to prevent attacks, both on company systems and mobile devices.
- Cybersecurity. Anti-malware, anti-spyware, anti-spam, anti-adware, and anti-phishing programs. Also includes network monitoring and cybersecurity training for employees.
- Virtual office. The tools and processes for remote work, from communication systems to team management, meetings, calendars and schedules.
Voucher use period
SMEs have a period of 6 months to use the voucher once granted. They can choose their preferred Digitalising Agent and even several, one for each solution. One agent, for example, to design a website, and another to provide ERP software.
At Red.es they calculate, based on what has happened so far, that 60% of applications come through the Volunteer Representative. In other words, companies prefer for a third party, normally the Digitalising Agent, to take care of the formalities.
Digitalising Agents undertake to implement and invoice the service within three months of the signing of the contract with the beneficiary.
What products or services are not covered by the Digital Kit?
- The purchase of hardware. Computers, mobiles and 3D printers, for example.
- VAT. As with all grants of this type.
- Digital services that were already in place before the application. In other words, you cannot renew a website, but you can add extras such as e-commerce or an online chat service.
- Internet connectivity. Does not include telecommunications services such as fixed telephony, broadband or 5G.
- Financial expenses and consultancy.
- Hiring staff. For example, an internal community manager to manage social networks.
If a digital solution does not appear in the Red.es catalogue or exceeds the grant amount, SMEs and the self-employed can take advantage of the specific credit line opened by the Official Credit Institute (ICO), which is processed through financial institutions such as Bankinter.
Digitalising Agents also benefit from this ICO Red.es Digital Kit credit line, since they can collect aid granted to their customers in advance.
The financing method is through a loan, line of credit, factoring or any other instrument agreed upon by the parties, at a fixed or variable interest rate and redeemable in 180 days, 1 year or 2 years with the possibility of a one-year grace period on the principal. Valid until 31 December 2025.
The Digital Kit in 5 steps
- Identify what digital needs your company has and the approximate cost (if you think this exceeds 12,000 euros, you can always apply for extra financing).
- Take a Digital Self-diagnosis Test that will help you know what you require (it is not binding).
- Apply directly or through a volunteer representative. You will not need to provide a single document: Red.es has automated entire process.
- Apply for extra financing from the ICO through Bankinter if the digital voucher does not cover all your needs.
- Choose the Digitalising Agent (one or more) that will provide you with the services for which the Digital Kit was granted.
Where can I find more information about the Digital Kit
- At Red.es: https://www.acelerapyme.es/
- At Bankinter: https://www.bankinter.com/empresas/en/digital-kit-programme
- At KPMG Impulsa: https://www.kpmgimpulsa.es/landings/kit-digital
- At ICO: https://www.ico.es/web/guest/ico-red.es-kit-digital
Information obtained from webinar entitled “Digital Kit: Digitalise your company”, organised by Bankinter's CFO Forum. With the participation of:
- Rafael Sánchez Raymundo: Head of the Bankinter SME Area.
- Amparo Puente: Deputy Head of Administration and Finance and European Funds at Red.es.
- Rosalía Martos: Mediation with Financial Institutions Officer at ICO.
- Francisco Carramolino: Partner of KPMG Impulsa.