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From words to action: pilot targets SMEs for digital transformation

From words to action: pilot targets SMEs for digital transformation

The research is done, now its time to roll out digital tools to make New Zealand businesses better.

Construction in Tauranga is one of three sectors targeted in MBIE's digital business pilot programme.

Construction in Tauranga is one of three sectors targeted in MBIE's digital business pilot programme.

The government is pressing ahead with plans to fortify small and medium-sized New Zealand businesses with digital smarts.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is preparing a pilot programme targeting businesses in arable farming in Canterbury, tourism in Rotorua and construction in Tauranga with a digital makeover.

Part of the government's "Building a Digital Nation" programme, the pilot will prepare businesses in the three sectors to take advantage of digital technology to become more efficient, productive and to unlock new opportunities.

It will build on research undertaken earlier and included in PwC's "Building Digital Capability for New Zealand Small Businesses" report.

Adopting digital technology looks different to different businesses and sectors, a tender document said.

"We learned from the initial phase of the project that arable farmers are focused on water and soil quality and collaborating with researchers and the construction industry needs to utilise tools for project management, delegation, consents and compliance.

"Tourism businesses need to understand the online ecosystem, marketing their products and using online aggregators such as TripAdvisor and Yelp as enablers for their business."

MBIE is looking for design and delivery of the programme in consultation with stakeholders such as the Ministry for Primary Industries, Registered Master Builders, New Zealand Māori Tourism, FAR (Foundation for Arable Research) and Federated Farmers. 

MBIE will develop a monitoring and evaluation framework and assess the outcomes of the project.

Anything developed and delivered under the programme may be released by government under a
Creative Commons attribution licence to help partners use and build on the materials for their small business communities.

The Digital Economy Programme is part of the government’s Business Growth Agenda.


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