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Celebrating One Year and 1300 businesses 'Getting Broadband Ready'

University of Ballarat’s Centre for eCommerce and Communications is celebrating the progress of the Central Highlands Digital Enterprise project. Delivery of free training and individual mentoring for businesses and community groups commenced in September 2012. The project focusses on getting businesses and not-for-profits ready for next generation broadband technology. In marking the first anniversary project manager Gerrie Carr-MacFie has confirmed training and mentoring is set to exceed 1300 participants by the end of September 2013.

The free training sessions are made available with funding provided by the Australian Government. Contributing financial and in-kind support has also come from Local and State Government. Workshops and individual practical mentoring sessions on topics such as DIY Website, TeleHealth, Social Media and eMarketing have been popular, attracting good attendances by small to big businesses, community groups and local charities.

“Demand for training is being fuelled by an increased understanding that the internet is rapidly changing the way we do business,” said Carr-MacFie.

She also counts the use of local facilitators and experts speaking on relevant topics as major factors in the strong attendance figures.

“University of Ballarat has capitalised on internal resources and local expertise. We have relationships with Neighbourhood Houses from Daylesford, Clunes and Creswick, to Haddon and Meredith. It’s about delivering what is wanted, where it is convenient, through trusted local experts.”

The Centre predicts attendance numbers will continue to rise. With a suite of new Digital Enterprise small group training activities planned.

“We will offer higher level workshops for sophisticated users, through to smaller hands-on sessions for the not so technically savvy until June 2014,” advises Carr-MacFie.

“New users of mobile technology can book ‘Toys for Boys’ or ‘Gadgets for Girls’. Businesses wanting help back-of- house can register for individual sessions from ‘Everything Microsoft’ and ‘Get Webbed’, to our popular internet security and hardware consultation ‘Digi BIZHealth Check’. Our offering reflects market trends with an emphasis on rural enterprises and the changing nature of broadband use.”

Businesses and community groups can register to attend the free training activities www.digibiz.net.au

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