By Claire West

A report out this week has revealed that the UK economy could be £63bn better off if the country achieves global digital leadership.

UK Digital champion Martha Lane Fox is backing a new initiative that aims to teach 16 million people across the UK basic online skills so that they can harness the internets true potential.

Martha said that "we need to make the country fit for purpose through the next decade and ensure everyone and every organisation has basic digital literacy."

The drive towards increased digital literacy stems from a report entitled ‘This is for Everyone: The Case for Universal Digitisation’, which has recently been produced by consultancy Booz and Company and commissioned by Go On UK, a charity chaired by Fox.

The report revealed that currently, only a third of small and medium businesses in the UK have a website and only 14 per cent currently sell their existing products online compared with 30 per cent in Norway.

It also showed that although 18 million Britons have used social media to interact with brands, only about 1 per cent of small businesses are selling via the same channel.

Prime minister David Cameron earlier said the initiative is vital to the UK's development.

"I salute all the hard work and creativity that has gone into making this project a reality," he said.

"It's so important that Britain takes full advantage of the economic and social potential of the digital age, and I am determined to make sure the Government plays its part in promoting digital literacy throughout the country."

Digital clearly offers growth, particularly to the small and medium-sized enterprise sector, make sure your business doesn’t get left behind, and learn from the experts at Hit Me! @ Google Campus.

As a valued Fresh Business Thinking reader we’d like to offer you an opportunity to grab one of the last tickets to this must attend event at a special discounted price of just £89.99 — this event will sell out so be quick!

Click here for the full event details and agenda.

Select 'Full Price Ticket' & Enter Code 'FreshSavings' To Save Over £200

Sell Tickets through Eventbrite

Click here for the full event details and agenda.