Small businesses that haven’t dived into the vast sea of the World Wide Web have been tossed a life preserver, courtesy of the Australian government.
A project called Winning Business Online provides an extensive — and free — online classroom that lays out the framework and possibilities of e-business. The project also has tapped into the expertise of Business Enterprise Centres, so web noobs can get guidance at low-cost seminars and from one-on-one mentoring sessions in more than 115 locations throughout Australia.
The project, dubbed Winning Business Online, was launched June 30. It is a partnership between BEC Australia (BECA), Kochie’s Business Builders and the University of Western Sydney. Its supporters say it can equip small business owners with the skills to work the web and prepare them for the opportunities created by the new National Broadband Network (the fate of which has become a hot potato in the upcoming election… but that’s a story for another day).
According to the Winning Business Online website, the primary goal is to help businesses “use the Internet to increase sales, reduce costs and simplify running their enterprise.”
The government’s Small Business Online program gave BECA $700,000 to deliver the project. BECA, a non-profit association, supports a network of about 130 Business Enterprise Centres through the nation.
BECA distilled information about e-business into 10 free learning “modules” on the Winning Business Online site. Businesses owners can roll through the modules at their own pace. Subjects include “Developing Your E-Business Plan,” “Promote Yourself to World Markets” and “Selling Online Made Easy.”
The face and voice on the modules’ numerous videos is David Koch, host of the Channel 7 small business show that bears his name.
The project organisers emphasise that Winning Business Online isn’t just for ‘Net newcomers. Business owners who already have an online presence can use the instruction to polish and streamline their approach, organisers said.
“Small business owners have enough on their hands just running their business,” Craig Emerson, Minister for Small Business, said in a news release. “These training options developed by BEC Australia will give small business owners the opportunity to choose the learning modules that best suit them.”
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