Minister for Small and Family Business, Skills and Vocational Education Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash today announced that applications are open for small and family businesses to apply for a digital makeover valued up to $20,000 to help them unlock the potential of technology and strengthen their business.
Minister Cash said the Small Business Digital Champions project will create relatable, real-time case studies to inspire and inform small business owners across Australia about how to go digital.
“The Small Business Digital Champions project is about helping support small businesses learn the skills and build confidence to embrace digital opportunities.
“The evidence shows us that when small businesses are digitally engaged, they are 50 per cent more likely to be growing revenue, eight times more likely to create jobs, seven times more likely to be exporting, and 14 times more likely to be innovating new products or services. The Liberal National Government wants every Australian small business to share in this success.”
100 small businesses from across Australia and various sectors will have the opportunity to receive a digital transformation that will include hardware, software and digital skills training to help them thrive in their particular field.
From the 100 businesses, 15 will be selected to become Digital Champions and be paired with a high-profile Australian innovator known for their success in digital innovation, including:
- Larry Kestelman – founder of Dodo internet, lead investor in technology start-up incubator Oxygen Ventures, chairman of Frankly Digital Marketing agency and owner of the National Basketball League.
- Dr Sam Prince – founder of hospitality chain Zambrero, founder of aid organisation One Disease and medical group Next Practice.
- Michelle Bridges – fitness trainer and founder of the online 12WBT Program.
Minister Cash added that many Australian small businesses are lagging behind in their digital uptake for many reasons and the Small Business Digital Champions Project will break down some of those barriers for small businesses.
“25 per cent of small to medium enterprises are sceptical about the value digital tools will bring to their business, while only 41 per cent of microbusinesses even have a website.
“In regional areas, the benefits of going digital can help bridge the distance with their city counterparts, making them more competitive.
Small businesses across the country will be able to follow the 12-month digital transformation of the Digital Champions, through online, interactive case studies that will provide the small business community with real-life insights into the practicalities and business benefits of adopting digital technology.
Applications close on 4 February 2019.
For more information, and to apply for the digital champions project or to register your interest in being a Digital Mentor or a corporate partner, visit: digitalchampions.jobs.gov.au