It is striking that when searching for “Kit Digital” in Google, no ads appear for companies that offer services associated with these aids.
Similarly, almost everything that appears on Twitter about #kitdigital is institutional advertising.
There are very, very few companies that use that hashtag to advertise and get new projects.
People are going to get free money! An incredible opportunity to generate business.
And no, I am not a Digitizing Agent. At this time there are already several of my clients who have contacted me if I can help them to process this Kit.
Or they have already got the approval of the help and are looking for someone to do the project they have in mind.
In fact, I myself, who can easily do most of the related tasks, must go to one of the companies that are registered as digitizing agents to be able to take advantage of this help.
At the end of October 2022 the deadline to apply for the Digital Kit for companies with up to 3 employees and freelancers was opened.
So, a few days after the opening of the procedure, I made my own application for the aid.
And the truth is that applying for the Kit was quite simple. For companies in my case, all you have to do is access Acelera Pyme, make a self-diagnosis and fill in the application form.
The first leap of faith comes when you have to assure and promise that you meet all the requirements.
Let’s cross our fingers trusting that I do not breach Article 13.2 of Law 38/2003, that I am not one of the groupings provided in the second paragraph of Article 11.3 of the same law, I am not in any of the assumptions of Law 3/2015, I am not one of the causes of prohibition provided in paragraphs 5 and 6 of Article 4 of Organic Law 1/2002 or anything related to Article 20.c) of the revised text of the Law on Contracts of Public Administrations, approved by Royal Legislative Decree 2/2002.
(Not all the laws referenced in this article are listed. There are more).
(Nor are all the laws referenced in the referenced laws).
As I was saying: I close my eyes and hit the send button.
And just two months later I receive an email confirming that I have been granted the digital kit voucher.
Good for me!
It strikes me, if I check the application, that the granting email has arrived 2 weeks after the actual approval.
Considering that there are 6 months to process the aid, 2 weeks have already been consumed to send an email.
Long live digitalization.
It seems that the hard part at this point would be to decide where to invest that money.
There are many options where digitalization can be used to improve the company’s situation: web, e-commerce, social networks, electronic invoicing, customer management, virtual office, cybersecurity, …
But what is really difficult is not in what, but with whom.
I can’t say for sure that this is something general. But there are already several companies I know that are Digitalizing Agents and do not want to work on more projects of this type.
The difficulty and the risk to collect these grants.
The grant money never goes to the client. The client must choose a Digitizing Agent and sign an agreement to carry out the project.
Once the project has been executed and delivered, the Agent must send a justification of what has been achieved with the project.
This justification is reviewed, as collaborating entities, by the Chambers of Commerce which, once approved, send it to the Administration.
The Administration then pays between 60% and 70% (depending on the stipulations for that type of project) to the agent.
After 12 months, a second justification of what has been achieved with the project must be made.
And repeat the process: Send it to the Chamber of Commerce for review and they pass the approval to the Administration, which will pay the remaining amount.
The issue is that the Digitalizing Agents, on the one hand, are already saturated with the projects of large companies and SMEs with more than 3 employees, whose procedures were opened months earlier than for small companies and freelancers.
For those companies with more than 10 employees the subsidies are 12,000 € and for those with more than 3 employees they are 6,000 €.
But the work, and in particular the bureaucracy, is the same, whatever the size of the company.
Moreover, technicians and specialists are currently overwhelmed with the peak workload generated by the Kits in just a few months.
This alone is reason enough for companies to be unable to take on new projects.
To this must be added the time it takes to get paid for work already done.
First it has to be executed in full and then wait for the justification to be approved and settled in two parts.
One part after 3 months and the rest after 12 months.
That is, first you pay the employees for performing the work and in several months you will recover what it has cost you to pay your technicians.
And in a year’s time you will collect your profit margin.
Experience with projects already completed is not encouraging.
The projects, when they enter their approval by the Chambers of Commerce, enter a black hole. It is impossible to know when they will be approved or where they are in the approval process.
And furthermore, when approval is confirmed, there are also delays in the collection of aid from the Administration.
If this happens with the few projects of large amounts, what can happen when there are many projects of smaller amounts?
And there is still an additional point.
The risk of not being paid.
For example, in theory, if a website or e-commerce is created or improved with public aid, it must meet the web accessibility criteria.
These criteria, by themselves, already represent a significant additional cost for any web development. That, by itself, may already require more than the amount of aid.
If you are curious about how to justify the accessibility of a website, you can consult the report to be completed here.
In fact, before I said “in theory” because there are people who trust that “This is not going to look at it”.
And what happens if the small SME or the self-employed person closes his company before one year?
How do you justify the payment for work done if the beneficiary no longer exists?
Although of course: there is always the guarantee that “The beneficiary will have to pay the agent if the requirements are not met”.
Will the Digital Kit achieve its objective of promoting the digitalization of small companies, micro-enterprises and self-employed, and contribute to modernize the Spanish productive fabric?
Or will it all be spent on the associated bureaucracy?
And the even more important question.
Will companies be able to manage this aid strategically to improve their operations and better face the future?
Or will they simply invest it in any low-priority project that seemed interesting, but for which there was never any way to justify its cost?
It is absolutely true that many companies need to take advantage of digitalization and this Kit can be a great help.
But what is really crucial is to think strategically about how to prepare the company for the future. That’s where I can help you.
And, once you are clear about what will bring the most to your company, then we can see if this Digital Kit is the help you need.