In today’s digital age, businesses are increasingly turning to digital technologies to increase efficiency and drive growth. Recognising this trend, the New Zealand government has launched a program called Digital Boost to help businesses across the country improve their digital capabilities and succeed in the digital economy. In this article, we’ll discuss why digital capabilities are important, why the government has created Digital Boost, and how it will benefit New Zealand businesses.
What is the Digital Boost Program?
The New Zealand Government has a vision for the country to have the most digitally engaged small business sector in the world. To support this vision, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) launched the small business Digital Boost program in 2020 to help small businesses digitally transform their operating models through the adoption of digital hardware and software, process changes, new skills, and capabilities, and deeper insights into their business through data.
The government has made funding available to support the program. The $20 million small business digital support package announced in September 2020 includes $10 million specifically for small businesses as part of the COVID-19 Recovery and Response Fund (CRRF) and $10 million as part of the Tourism Recovery Package, $5 million to boost digital capability in the broader tourism sector and $5 million for Qualmark to help their registered tourism operators develop digital strategies and skills.
Following the success of the pilot program, additional funding was provided during Budget 2021 for an additional two years, through to 30 June 2023.
Key initiatives of the Digital Boost program
Key initiatives of the Digital Boost program include the Digital Boost Spotlight Series, Digital Boost Educate and Digital Boost Checkable. The program also has a focus on innovation, harnessing the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) to build a small business owners knowledge, skills, confidence, and trust in adopting digital tools for business resilience and growth. To get more information small business owners can visit the Digital Boost website and Sign up for the program.
Why choose Digital Boost?
The program includes a range of services such as training and workshops, mentoring, funding and grants, expert advice and access to over 350+ short educational videos that cover a wide range of topics, including digital tools, websites, digital marketing, business insights, and small business accounting. The program also includes access to diagnostic tools to evaluate website performance and real-world stories to help businesses gain inspiration from other successful companies. The program is free to all Kiwi small businesses and aims to support businesses in increasing their digital capability, innovation, productivity and competitiveness.
Having strong digital capabilities is essential for businesses in today’s digital economy. Here are a few reasons why:
- First, digital technologies can increase efficiency and productivity, helping businesses save time and money.
- Second, digital technologies can enable businesses to reach new customers and expand their market reach.
- Third, digital technologies are helping businesses to innovate and create new products and services that can help them succeed in the marketplace.
Digital Boost is a valuable initiative designed to support small businesses in adapting to the digital age. The government’s goal is to help business owners to digitally transform their operating models to drive growth, efficiency, and success in the digital economy, making New Zealand one of the most digitally engaged small business sectors in the world. You can sign up and access these tools on the government website here: https://digitalboost.business.govt.nz/