About Digital Future First

Digital Future First Vision - Small Business Support

The fallout from COVID 19 and rapid rate of technological innovations requires current workforces to continually update skills to equip them for emerging roles in the sectors in which they work, which have been influenced by new technologies. Many companies are neither effectively maximising the potential of new technologies nor the talents of their employees. As a result, opportunities are missed and performance is not maximised.

“Digital Future First” provides access to Small Business Grants UK 2021 and works with employers to identify their skills needs, demonstrate additionality and innovative new nature of developed programme content and delivery solutions, where relevant, will trial programme content within the beneficiary businesses and where possible, support flexible learning and delivery models (e.g. delivery on employer sites, business cluster approach, evening, online learning platforms and modules).

Digital Future First works alongside stakeholders to support initiatives available within SEMLEP, enabling SMEs and Micros understand the importance and relevance of existing initiatives, brokering opportunities to encourage and increase work experience, work placements, traineeships, apprenticeships, and graduate placements particularly through wider employer engagement and involving supply chains in order to help employers access and integrate them into the workplace.

It’s all about Small Business Support.

Our Advisory Service

Small Business Support
Small Business Support
Digital Future First is led by Supplyant Limited, and co-developed in partnership with Database for Business Limited and the Learning and Skills Academy CIC will provide access to a range of measured and meaningful activities to SMEs across SEMLEP, enabling them to grow their business and improve the resilience and skills levels of their employees.
Partners have access to, and already work with an extensive network of existing providers who have a wide portfolio of learning opportunities available to employers that includes professional vocational qualifications linked to specific sectors and industries, designed to improve and develop relevant skills of employees, while providing Small Business Support.

How We Can Help

Digital Future First will help the workforce access the skills that employers need to drive competitiveness and innovation, adopting a flexible yet innovative approach which is sector and employer driven to ensure that it is responsive and supports people to enter and progress in employment. This will be achieved by:
  • Providing access to a comprehensive suite of training and learning opportunities
  • Building the capacity of SMEs to understand the importance and relevance of internships, KTP’s, work placements and apprenticeships
  • Broker opportunities with relevant education and training providers by promoting employer participation and engagement in learning
  • Supporting SMEs to recruit and retain new talent that possess the necessary skills required to drive competitiveness, in order to respond to sectoral and technological changes
  • Working in collaboration with key business support agencies to diversify and complement the project activities
  • Developing the skill base of women and BAME entrepreneurs by widening access to local champions, mentors and role models.

Over 100 SME Business Owners Supported

Our Advisors have now helped over 100 businesses access Government Support.

26February 2021

Over 50 SME Business Owners Supported

Our Advisors have now helped over 50 businesses access Government Support.


Over 35 SME Business Owners Supported

Our Advisors have now helped over 35 SME businesses access Government support.


Digital Future First Launched

Established name to promote a digital first to accelerate business and reduce operating costs with government support.


Government Bid Approved

Won ESF bid to deliver a brokerage service to business in the SEMLEP region.


European Social Fund Objective

Strategy tendered to deliver a brokerage service to business in the South East Midlands Region

South East Midlands in Numbers

We work with business owners to provide an advisory service on government funding and training available across the South East Midlands with a specific interest in advancing digital adoption to give a business advantage.

67BRegional GDP
meet our team

Here to support businesses in the South East Midlands

Our team includes experts in learning and skills development, government funding, training programmes and digital experts to accelerate the understanding and adoption of digital within SME’s in the region.

Tony Knaggs

Managing Director at Learning and Skills Academy CIC

Simon Morton

CEO at Supplyant

Simon Pickering, MD of dbfb
Simon Pickering

Managing Director at DBFB 

How we help businesses in the region

We have a team of Business Advisers who can provide free guidance to SME employers interested in developing digital inititives.

SMEs can also register with Apprentice Makers to see case studies and connect with other businesses to learn from their experiences.

We can also put you in touch with Apprentice Ambassadors from businesses who can talk to you about their experiences and best practice.

Digital Advisory
Government Funding
Local Business Support

Digital Future First

Funded by the European Social Investment Fund and granted by the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership SEMLEP. Delivered by Supplyant, DBFB and Skills and Training Academy.


Feedback from our leadership team


    Digital Future First is part funded by the European Social Fund and led by Supplyant Limited, and co-developed in partnership with Database for Business Limited and the Learning and Skills Academy CIC


    34-35 Duncan Close, Moulton Park Ind Est, Northampton, NN3 6WL


    01604 679097