Business Basics Programme

The Business Basics Programme is designed to test innovative ways of encouraging small and medium sized enterprises to adopt existing technologies and management practices to improve their productivity.

The Business Basics Programme tests innovative ways of encouraging small and medium sized enterprises to adopt tried and tested technologies and management techniques.

The programme is part of a series of measures to improve firm level productivity, including:

BEIS will publish the results of the projects supported under the programme to support local and national policy making and innovation.

Programme overview and objectives

The Business Basics Fund

The Business Basics Fund supports the projects selected under the Programme following open competitions. It is delivered in partnership with Innovate UK and the Innovation Growth Lab at Nesta.

October 2019: Round 3 launched

Round 3 made £2 million available for trial projects involving technologies which support business and administrative functions. As announced in the June 2019 government response to the Call for Evidence on tackling late payments, up to £1 million of this funding focuses on projects that could help address this issue.

Future rounds

Any future rounds will be published here.

Programme progress and evaluation

The Programme will publish reports providing the evidence to support local and national policy making and innovation.

Partnership projects

As part of the wider Programme, BEIS is working with its partners to deliver targeted projects, for example in a specific place, sector or using specific techniques such as nudge or peer to peer advice.

This complements the “bottom up” approach of the Fund, and provides the flexibility to act on early findings and work with key stakeholders in an agile way.

Evaluation framework

Robust evaluation is a key element of the Business Basics Programme. In order to ensure that all projects are evaluated properly and can be compared with other business support activities, an overarching Evaluation Framework has been developed, to which all BEIS business support programmes should adhere.


General help for business

CBI reports

The CBI in their 2017 report From Ostrich to Magpie estimated that better takeup of existing technology could unlock £100 billion of untapped UK economic potential.

Other reports

Published 23 January 2019
Last updated 3 February 2021 + show all updates
  1. Results of Round 3 have been published. Any updates including future rounds will be published here.

  2. Research reports and Business Basics Programme progress report October 2019 added.

  3. Business Basics Fund Round 3 now open to expressions of interest.

  4. Business Basics Fund second round now closed to applications.

  5. First published.