Let’s Go with SMERC
Monday, 12 April 2010
The Small and Medium Enterprise Research Centre (SMERC) at ECU was recently awarded $457,000 by AusIndustry to head a state-wide program that will get small businesses online and taking advantage of global opportunities.
The program, known as ‘Small Business Get Online (GO)’, is federally funded and will be offered to a minimum of 500 businesses throughout Western Australia free of charge. The program will include workshops on e-business, as well as one-on-one sessions where trained Internet consultants visit businesses to provide personal assistance.
“Ninety seven per cent of Australian businesses have internet access, but are not taking full advantage of the internet to build opportunities,” says Professor Beth Walker, Acting Associate Dean of Research and Higher Degrees.
“The Small Businesses GO program is designed to assist small businesses to understand the options that are out there and to give them e-business tools that will most help them with their business strategies.”
Professor Walker says the problem is considerable for small businesses, which can struggle to get technical support and often have no time to spend in lengthy courses.
“Owners are too busy working in the business to waste a moment, but we know that even a little investment of time to discover the benefits of e-business can open the doors to more customers,” she says.
“This free program will help people get a foothold online and start taking their ideas to a wider market” .The ‘Small Business GO’ program will be jointly run by ECU’s Small and Medium Research Centre along with industry partners, including the Cities of Joondalup, Wanneroo, Swan and Mandurah, Regional Development Commissions and the Business Foundations Development Group. Workshops for the program begin in May 2010.