Monday, 29 November 2010
ECU’s Small and Medium Enterprise Research Centre (SMERC) has been overwhelmed by businesses wanting to join its Let’s GO! program, and will now offer an additional 100 places to help with the demand. The program teaches local small business operators how to use the Internet and social media to build their customer base.
The Let’s GO! program has been running since March, with funding from a $457,000 AusIndustry Grant. So far it has helped more than 500 small businesses, through workshops and one-on-one advice. The program is jointly run by SMERC, local councils, industry partners and regional development commissions.
Director of SMERC, Professor Beth Walker, said that while 97 per cent of Australian businesses had access to the Internet, only a small percentage of those businesses used it as a promotional tool. She cited confusion as the cause.
“The Internet has been around for a generation – even eBay has been around for 15 years – and yet many businesses don’t know where to begin online.”
ECU’s commitment to engaging with the small business community, and sharing the expertise of its research, has seen this problem somewhat alleviated. Of the 506 businesses involved in the Let’s GO! program, many have already reported increased sales as a result of the changes they have made.
Professor Walker believes this achievement is a product of the program’s hands-on approach. “We aren’t selling them web pages. We are saying: what do you want the Internet to do for your business? Then we show them how to get there.”
For more information, contact:
Professor Beth Walker
Telephone: (61 8) 6304 5282