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NZ small business to access Government digital boost training initiative

New Zealand small businesses will be able to benefit from a Government-funded Digital Boost skills training and support initiative.

The Digital Boost skills training is the first initiative to be launched from the Digital Boost programme, a partnership between the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and the private sector to support thousands of small businesses in realising the benefits of using digital tools and technologies in their business.

“Today we start delivering on the Government’s vision for New Zealand small businesses to be the most digitally-enabled in the world. 2021 will be the year of digital transformation for thousands of Kiwi small businesses” says AJ Millward, General Manager Small Business and Strategic Programmes.

To deliver the training and support, MBIE is excited to partner with The Mind Lab and Indigo, who have extensive experience in helping business owners develop the capabilities needed to take advantage of our rapidly changing digital environment.

"The Digital Boost programme is an excellent example of the public and private sectors working together for New Zealand small businesses," says Millward.

"Industry Leaders, small business owners and MBIE have designed this programme to meet the needs of kiwi SMEs as we adapt to the digital age and take the opportunity to come out of COVID-19 more resilient and future focused.”

Management consultants McKinsey estimates that in an eight-week period, COVID-19 accelerated the business adoption of digital tools and services by the equivalent of five years. 

Strong research and evidence shows that small businesses who leverage digital tools have a distinct competitive advantage in the internet age. Whether it’s about reaching more customers, making business processes more efficient, connecting to suppliers or gaining better insights from data – all businesses can benefit from using digital tools.

"Our Spotlights on Kiwi businesses succeeding through being digital are live. Other initiatives from the Digital Boost programme, including a digital applications and services directory will become available in early 2021."

The New Zealand Government announced $10 million worth of funding specifically for SMEs in Budget 2020.

“Recent research by McKinsey suggested that over the course of eight weeks, COVID had caused the equivalent of five years’ worth of advances in digital transformation for both customers and businesses,” minister for small ad medium sized businesses Stuart Nash said at the time.

“Big businesses like supermarkets, banks, professional and corporate service providers and manufacturers have made the transformation, but small and medium enterprises are at risk of lagging behind. The wider use of digital commerce by SMEs will help them adapt and innovate in order to thrive in the COVID economy," he said.

“The package will help small businesses and tourism operators transition in the COVID-19 world by lifting digital capability.

“The private sector has great leadership and vision in this space, and Government will support this with initiatives to take New Zealand small businesses forward on their digital journey."