Govt boosts digital skills for over 30,000 small businesses

  • Hon Stuart Nash

More than 30,000 small businesses have participated in Government-funded digital training, which supports businesses to take advantage of digital tools and new opportunities through e-commerce, Minister for Small Business Stuart Nash announced today.

“Over the last two years, many business owners had no option but to move to digital platforms in order to continue to generate revenue and meet the changing expectations of their customers. However, for large numbers of SME owners and operators, there were not easily accessible tools that allowed this transformation to take place. We decided early on that we needed to fill this educational gap in the market, so we set a target of backing 30,000 small businesses to undergo digital training. It’s great that we’ve hit this milestone ahead of schedule,” Stuart Nash said.

“Budget 2021 committed $44 million, over two years, for digital training and advice. Digital Boost was set up as a public-private partnership to fulfil our vision of New Zealand having the most digitally-enabled small business sector in the world. The most recent statistics show that since 2021, we’ve had more than 48,000 registered trainees in the Digital Boost programme, which includes over 30,000 small businesses.

“It’s promising to see early findings from the Digital Boost impact research that show increased digital capability among businesses that have been on the platform, with users applying more digital tools to their business resulting in increased resilience and revenue.

“This is especially important considering that all innovations currently being implemented by the Government involve being digitally enabled – from paying taxes, to e-invoicing, to the use of an NZBN to access Government support. The reality is that this is likely the last generation of business owners that could survive, let alone thrive, without being digitally enabled.

“The use of digital tools has enabled Kiwi small businesses to stay connected, grow their channels to market, and drive efficiency and productivity, thereby supporting our economic recovery. As we open back up to the world, it is important that we continue to harness the power of digital tools to make businesses more resilient and sustainable.

“With more features in development to support small business digitalisation, Digital Boost is on track to achieve the second half of our commitment – to have 30,000 small businesses with digital action plans – by June 2023,” Stuart Nash said.

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