Past Grantees Help Small Businesses as Digital Doers
Digital Doers graduates. Photo / Supplied
Digital Doers Academy graduates have gone from job seekers with stipends to paid digital interns, and now want to provide emergency digital support to small businesses struggling with the effects of the current Covid epidemic. 19.
Offered by the small business support community Manaaki.io and funded by the Department of Social Development (MSD), Digital Doers took the solo parent Wilfred Kiki Te Wao (Waikato-Tainui) of a job seeker receiving an allowance to a qualified digital intern in 20 weeks. So far he has worked on projects for Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari, River Adventures Waikato, Akomaiway and IndigiShare.
Now, local Whatawhata Te Wao is part of a group of Digital Doers volunteering to help small businesses as the lockdown moves normal operations online.
He says having the skills to help businesses get through Covid-19 is one of the biggest positives for him.
“I’m pretty proud of myself that I have certain skills that can help businesses, especially during a time like the foreclosure.
“It empowers me to know that I came away with Essential Skills and how I can apply them at work and across the digital space. “
The Digital Doers Academy helps job seekers find sustainable employment while addressing New Zealand’s digital divide and lack of digital implementation capacity in small Kiwi businesses. Applications for phase two of the fully remote program are now open to recipients of MSD benefits across Aotearoa, particularly those from Maori and Pacific communities.
Manaaki.io CEO Rachel Adams said there has never been a more important time to equip Aotearoa’s workforce with digital capabilities.
“By helping job seekers become skilled digital generalists, we are elevating the mana of these two individuals and any company they will work with in the future.”
The 20-week program teaches participants skills such as website building, social media marketing, digital adoption, and digital strategy, and then pairs them with a small Kiwi business for a paid internship of eight weeks.
In this next promotion, 50 places are available for Kiwis from various backgrounds, with no training or prior experience required.
Te Wao said Digital Doers’ flexible and distance learning environment works with his single dad routine.
“The time slots were perfect for me. I could drop the girls off at school and still have time to log in and have a check-in every morning at 9 am. I was then able to pick them up on time. and continue to work if I needed it in the evening.
Manaaki.io CEO Rachel Adams hopes Phase Two will continue the success of the Digital Doers pilot program and create momentum for its potential at scale.
“It is moving to see that in just a few months we have been able to transform 22 Kiwis from benefit recipients and job seekers to skilled and paid workers in a growing industry.
“I look forward to welcoming our next class and seeing it meet the growing need for digital capabilities in our small business sector. “
Interested job seekers can find more information and apply at www.manaaki.io/digitaldoersacademy and through their local Labor and Income Service Center. Applications close on August 31. Successful applicants without a computer or Internet connection will have access to 2degrees.
Small businesses with an immediate digital need or project can fill out a form here.