"It's also not enough to have vendor-driven advocacy of why a particular technological tool is the 'bee's knees'. What you need is someone who can sit down and show a genuine interest and understanding in the business that they are working with and then how the various menu of technological capability works well for that business in its context and with its business objectives in mind.
"So far we're looking at engage around 3000 digital experts who will then go out and touch around 100,000 small businesses and that will continue to grow. So that is one way of actually enabling [small businesses] and breaking down that barrier."
In February, Australian of the Year Ita Buttrose spoke to an audience of IT professionals at the Internet Industry Association's (IIA) 16th Annual Gala Dinner in Sydney, urging the IT industry to help small businesses realise the benefits that technology can provide. She said at the time that around half of small businesses still do not have a website, making this a concern for the Australian economy.
Buttrose gave an example of how a small Australian company called Paperbark Camp was able to grow its business and reach customers oversees by simply having an online presence.
With Tourism Australia linking to Paperbark Camp's website and Facebook page, listing the small company as a travel destination, "it went from having 423 to 7000 likes almost overnight and they are now taking bookings from people around the world," Buttrose said.
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