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Danish business embraces digital to create jobs and save lives

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During their years in the armed forces, Mark Nilsson and Anders Kjærsgaard used their first response training to save lives. When they left the service, they wanted to transfer those skills to everyday civilian life. So they set up First-8, a company that delivers first aid training to businesses and individuals, with ex-army personnel as instructors.

They knew that the internet was a great way to reach customers, but they also knew they were missing basic skills to market online so they decided to sign up for Google Succes online, a program that taught them how to improve SEO (search engine optimization), use Google AdWords to create online ads, and measure their ad performance with Google Analytics.

After joining the program in 2016, Mark and Anders have increased the number of people trained from 360 to 3,200. They’ve also grown from two to 30 staff, recruiting many ex-army people, and moved the business from their living rooms to two new offices and three warehouses.
First-8: creating job opportunities and saving lives

First-8 is just one example of how Google is helping businesses succeed with digital. Since launching Succes Online in partnership with Dansk Industri, Dansk Erhverv, Erhvervsstyrelsen, FDIH, ITB, Ivækst and PwC og ASE three years ago, we’ve trained more than 30,000 people across 73 Danish municipalities, with 39 percent of small businesses reporting improved business results, revenues or new customers as a result of the training. In Northern Europe alone, the number of jobs requiring digital skills will double in the next 15 years, with an additional 200,000 jobs created. We want to play our part by equipping people and businesses like First-8 with the skills they need to grow their business or career, and take advantage of these new opportunities.

“Succes Online has given us the resources and opportunities we needed to develop our business and take it in a new direction,” says Mark. “We never imagined that our experience in the army would lead to us building a business that can help save people’s lives.”

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