As the economic effects of a pandemic continue impacting small business, the B.C. government and local tech communities are stepping up to help them better access digital tools for growth and solutions.
Western Economic Diversification Canada provided $100,000 to Nanaimo’s Innovation Island Technology Association earlier this year to develop the Digital Economy: Rapid Response + Resiliency Program (DER3). It has since expanded it to communities across B.C with the support of Innovate BC.
DER3 provides one-to-one business and technical expertise for companies hoping to improve their digital capacity. An example of expanding into the digital economy is setting up a website and e-commerce platform to sell to customers online or expand their digital footprint, giving them the tools they need to respond to physical restrictions and expand to new markets.
VIATEC is one of the organizations helping implement the program, and they are actively seeking participants for the no-cost, no-obligation program, which works in strict confidence with business owners to support their specific needs. Businesses are paired up with advisors who provide expertise, support and mentorship to help them enact the changes they need to increase their competitive edge.
The VIATEC DER3 program description says they will “take over three decades of expertise in the tech sector and apply it to businesses in need who are navigating technology adoption or business recovery and enhancement. We can literally tap the hundreds of tech-based companies that we work with to help solve main-street business challenges that simply weren’t as important before the COVID-19 crisis. In addition, we have a strong network of subject matter experts, covering all sorts of skills and digital services, that we can match with specific business challenges and opportunities.”
Small to medium sized businesses of less than 500 employees, located in Greater Victoria, are invited to apply. Details are available here: https://www.viatec.ca/cpages/der3.