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40,000 NZ small businesses reap rewards of Digital Boost programme

Mon 18 Oct 2021

The Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE)’s Digital Boost programme has now attracted more than 40,000 New Zealand businesses, the Ministry has reported today.

The Digital Boost programme, designed in partnership with The Mind Lab, is a free training programme designed for small businesses to improve their digital skills in areas such as e-commerce, digital marketing, business analytics, and cloud-based accounting.

Content is delivered through videos, case studies, Q&A sessions, podcasts, downloadable learning summaries, and other resources.

According to MBIE Digital Boost director Malcolm Luey, Digital Boost is resonating with businesses, citing a 20% increase in the number of small businesses with a website since the programme was launched in January.

“Digital Boost Live is designed to work for busy small business operators who need up-to-date digital information in the palm of their hand.”

Digital Boost has also helped the majority (70%) of users to feel more confident about becoming more digital. Of particular interest to 21% of businesses is e-commerce, while 20% have adopted cloud and software services, such as cloud payroll with a 16% rise in uptake.

The Mind Lab CEO Frances Valintine notes, “More than ever, small businesses need to adapt to digital demands and our research confirms they know this too, with 83% of businesses surveyed indicating the importance of becoming more digital in order for their business to survive.”

Of the 40,000 businesses using Digital Boost, 93% intend to continue using the programme with no or minimal changes.

COVID poses a challenge to small businesses, particularly in terms of mental health. Now, Digital Boost includes the Clearhead mental health podcast and support services. 

Clearhead founder Angela Lim says Clearhead found a direct correlation between lockdown and user anxiety last year - 50.2% of users named anxiety as their most commonly felt emotion.

During the most recent lockdown, Clearhead also noted a spike in emotional outbursts and alcohol abuse, which Lim believes is because of a resurgence of trauma and emotion from past lockdowns.

Digital Boost is available through the web, or as an app on Apple’s App Store and Google Play.

“Digital Boost users now have the flexibility to switch between the Digital Boost website and the app depending on their unique and evolving needs,” explains Valintine.

“Push notifications allow users to keep up-to-date with events, while the single sign-on saves time,” she concludes.

Digital Boost offers:

More than 500 short three-to-five minute learning videos, such as how to use digital marketing to increase sales, real-world case studies and Q&A sessions with experts.
· Podcasts with business owners.
· Hundreds of downloadable learning summaries.
· Case studies featuring Kiwi small business owners.
· Live Q&A sessions with experts and past recordings.

Interested businesses can access digital boost at digitalboost.business.govt.nz.

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