The Government today unveiled the $12.4 million Digital Enterprises initiative program to help small-to-medium businesses and not-for-profit organisations across Australia take advantage of the enormous online opportunities offered by the National Broadband Network (NBN).  The Digital Enterprises initiative is a key element of the National Digital Economy Strategy.  The program will provide advice to businesses in NBN early rollout areas on how to use the NBN to diversify their operations.  This is designed to assist them improve their online presence, transact online, offer new products and services, expand their market, improve their competitiveness and increase their means of communicating with customers and suppliers.

It is also intended to assist not-for-profit organisations to engage online to expand their reach into the community and increase their donor pool. Maximising the benefit of the digital economy requires action by all levels of government, industry and the community as a whole.  Taking full advantage of the opportunities offered by the NBN and the online environment is seen as important to Australia and important for the small business sector. By embracing the digital economy it is hoped small businesses can improve productivity and maintain their competitiveness both in Australia and internationally.

There is still no suggestion the Government will increase funding to the under-funded EMDG scheme which could help small businesses capture international markets.  The Government suggests that all small businesses need is improved productivity and competitiveness and the world will beat a path to their door.  Unfortunately for Australia’s struggling exporters, that is sadly not the case.  Without export marketing support the Digital Enterprises is a waste of taxpayer’s money.