Purdue Extension Community Development’s Digital Ready initiative advances the capacity of small businesses to strengthen their knowledge and application of broadband strategies.
Through interactive workshops and online courses led by a statewide team of Purdue trainers, participants learn about the importance of the digital economy, how to incorporate digital strategies into the work place and build technical knowledge.
Recent studies highlight the economic benefits of broadband adoption by small businesses. Since most new jobs in Indiana are created by existing businesses with less than 100 employees, establishing and expanding their online presence is critical to remain competitive.
Narrowing the digital divide requires efforts to strengthen digital literacy, enhance the awareness of digital tools and encourage adoption by consumers and workers. Our basic/intermediate level educational products help advance broadband applications by entrepreneurs and small businesses.
Over 100 businesses have participated in the face-to face Digital Ready Businesses workshops, reporting an overall 92% increase in knowledge after the workshops. So how did the workshops help businesses grow? When we asked businesses that question, of those who responded, 73% reported an increase in sales, 91% reported an increase in their customer base and 100% reported an increase in customer engagement.
We know it can be challenging with busy schedules to attend workshops, so there is now an option of taking the courses online. To get started, download the free app in Google Play Store for Android (iOS version coming soon!) Several courses are available with the remaining courses to be added in the upcoming year. Participants can take the Introduction to Email Marketing course at no cost and decide if they want to continue with the other courses. After the free course, it’s only $9.99 for each additional course.
Before participating in a workshop or online course, we recommend you view these brief videos:
Stories from a few small businesses after implementing strategies learned from the Digital Ready Businesses workshops:
“The information was very helpful in how to market on each platform. We have a long way to go but at least now have a plan in place! Since our workshop I started concentrating on Facebook and Instagram with the help of my daughter. She started to post daily even though our content/backdrop was not exactly how we wanted it we have played along tweaking as we go. We grew Facebook from 1547 to 2079 and Instagram 676 to 2013 so far!”
“When photos are posted, we see a direct increase in traffic.”
“I’m doing PR and their business has expanded.”
“Our services in particular have improved and we have become more aware of how to improve engagement with customers.”
“The Digital Ready workshops helped put additional social media information in my hands that I didn’t know were available before.”
“This was a great series of workshops, especially for those just beginning their business.”
“Our business has increased in the 1st year!”
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|Bo Beaulieu||Director, Purdue Center for Regional Developmentfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Roberto Gallardo||Extension Community and Regional Economics Specialistemail@example.com|
|Lindsey Bloos||City of Madison Chamberfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Cheryl Casselman||Extension Educator, Sullivan Countyemail@example.com|
|Emily Del Real||Program Coordinatorfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Mary Foell||Extension Educator, LaPorte Countyemail@example.com|
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|Nicholas Held||Extension Educator, Spencer Countyfirstname.lastname@example.org|
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|Dee Kleier||Extension Educator, Franklin Countyfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Annette Lawler||Extension Educator, Harrison Countyemail@example.com|
|Tamara Ogle||Regional Extension Educatorfirstname.lastname@example.org|
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|Julie Rigrish||Regional Coordinator, Purdue Center for Regional Developmentemail@example.com|
|Hans Schmitz||Extension Educator, Posey Countyfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Ron Shields||Open Book Digital Curriculum, Rush Countyemail@example.com|
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