With many small business owners feeling overwhelmed by the sudden need to be digitally prepared during the pandemic, the New Zealand Government's Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) identified a clear need to launch Digital Boost — a programme focused on accelerating the digitalisation of Kiwi small businesses. A core part of Digital Boost is the user-friendly, centralised and dynamic skills training and support platform.

Taught by trusted experts, the Digital Boost Skills Training initiative has been designed to support small businesses at every stage of their digital journey, including embracing the benefits of social media, websites, mobile, cloud accounting, productivity software, and search engines.

Unlocking the power of digital for small business

As a leading tertiary education provider trusted by thousands of educators and professionals across New Zealand, MBIE chose a consortium led by The Mind Lab to be its key learning delivery partner, supported by Datacom and Salesforce.

The Mind Lab’s chief executive officer (CEO) Frances Valintine shared her vision for the online Digital Boost experience.

"Learning delivery modes have shifted significantly from the days of attending face to face sessions. Digital Boost is an online, video-based platform allowing for personal learning journeys that connects business owners to relevant content and information. User journeys and the learning experience is a critical part of any online learning delivery. Digital Boost is built on best-practice in the contemporary world of education.”

With a rapid development timeframe of under two months, the project required agile development sprints and collaboration to coordinate all the elements. This included creating hundreds of videos, developing a comprehensive learning platform and website, and providing personalised and tailored content to subscribers. The Digital Boost platform also needed to integrate directly with the government’s New Zealand Business Number (NZBN) to sync business details and provide live customer support through Salesforce Service Cloud.

Personalised training, content, and support platform

Since launching in January, over 25,000 small business owners and their employees have signed up to Digital Boost to access and learn from its extensive resources.

“Every day, we're creating and adding new content. We already have over 300 videos and subscribers have access to case studies, Q&A sessions, interviews, webinars, and how-to articles.

"We also run personal one-on-one support. Whether it’s live chat, email, or a phone or video call, our expert team is available from 7am to 7pm, seven days a week. So, for example, if people are struggling to set up a Facebook page or a Google ad, we can step through the process with them and/or point them to the best resources.”

Additionally, The Mind Lab’s consortium partners Indigo and K&J Growth are running the Digital Boost Ambassador initiative — in-person events around the country to talk directly to small businesses about the importance of going digital, their key challenges, and how Digital Boost can help.

All these interactions, as well as questions answered via social media, are tracked through Salesforce so that the team can centralise its responses and provide continuity.

"The long-term goal of Digital Boost is to educate 50,000 Kiwi business owners and continue to educate, inspire, and support more and more small businesses at every stage of their journey. We're busy working on new content — including more advanced tutorials — to keep businesses up to date and at the forefront of digital tools.

“We’re really proud to be part of this collaborative MBIE initiative. It’s so rewarding to hear the feedback from people about how Digital Boost is meaningfully improving their businesses and lives.

"Partnering with Datacom and Salesforce allowed us to focus on this, while they added the extra technical specialisation we needed to develop a bespoke tech stack and user experience.”

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