Highland social enterprise signs global deal to help protect charities from cyberattacks

08/06/2023
The team from the Apprentice Store receiving the Inclusive Workplace Award from Neil Skene from SUSE1

IT services provider The Apprentice Store secures global agreement with TechSoup

The APPRENTICE Store, an IT services provider and social enterprise based in Inverness in the Scottish Highlands, has secured a landmark global agreement with TechSoup, a US-based not for profit organisation with a global network of partners providing technology solutions for third sector/not-for-profit organisations all over the world.

Beginning in the UK and Ireland initially, The Apprentice Store is offering cyber security products, developed by leading software provider Acronis, on the TechSoup Technology Assistance Program. This means that charities or third sector organisations based in the UK and Ireland will be able to purchase discount vouchers for cyber security packages from Charity Digital in the UK, and Enclude in Ireland for a discounted rate of up to 50%. The vouchers will be redeemed with The Apprentice Store, which will then provide the required customer support to the charities. Ultimately, this arrangement is planned to be rolled out to TechSoup’s network of partners to help secure charities globally.

The agreement has been made possible by the vision of Managing Director and Founder of The Apprentice Store, David Massey, who negotiated a discount with Acronis to be able to offer Acronis products to charities and third sector organisations. Aware of the great work of TechSoup and its comprehensive programme to support the capacity and skills-building of charities by connecting certain third-party vendors of hardware, software, and services with charities seeking access to donated and substantially discounted products and services, he approached TechSoup to see how they might work together.

Speaking about The Apprentice Store now being part of the TechSoup Technology Assistance Program, David Massey said: “This is a significant milestone for The Apprentice Store. We have been talking to TechSoup for the last two years to see how we can work together and offer Acronis cyber security products to charities and not for profit organisations. This arrangement really demonstrates the power of collaboration when like-minded third sector organisations come together around a common goal.

“The Apprentice Store was founded in 2016 as a social enterprise. Since then, we have supported clients across the UK with website development, cyber security, IT support and IT consultancy. It is apprentices, supported by mentors, that provide these services and our social purpose is very clear. We care about educating and supporting young people to work in IT and, since 2016, have employed apprentices who have completed 22 apprenticeships.

“This arrangement with TechSoup means that third sector organisations all over the world will be part of our ongoing mission to create a vibrant IT economy within the Highlands and Islands, which is actually mind blowing when you stop and think about it!”

The Apprentice Store’s commitment to young people and inclusivity is widely acknowledged. The organisation was recently awarded the Inclusive Workplace Award by the Scottish Union of Supported Employment (SUSE) and is the only IT provider in Scotland to be platinum accredited by Investors in Young People (IIYP).

Completing the virtuous circle, The Apprentice Store will give back a percentage of the sales it has made from the TechSoup Technology Assistance Program to TechSoup, supporting the organisation in its mission to build a dynamic bridge that leverages technology to enable connections and innovative solutions for a more equitable planet.

Commenting on the arrangement with The Apprentice Store, Wojciech Rustecki, Vice President of Solutions and Services at TechSoup, added: “The critical work that third sector organisations lead throughout UK and Ireland requires the highest quality of security. TechSoup is proud to partner with The Apprentice Store to help local civil society organizations become secure and resilient as they do more good.” 

The products available from The Apprentice Store via the TechSoup Technology Assistance Program are only available at discounted rates of up to 50% to organisations that have purchased a voucher from Charity Digital in the UK, and Enclude in Ireland.

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