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Small Business Owners Who Are Disabled Get A Helping Hand To Grow Digital

Small business owners who are disabled can get help growing their digital capacity, thanks to a new pilot initiative operated by Workbridge and funded by the Department of Internal Affairs.

Grow Digital works with disabled people running a small to medium enterprise (SME) to develop a plan specific to their business to encourage digital growth.

Grow Digital can also assist businesses who are not owned by disabled people but who employ a majority of disabled staff.

Workbridge’s Chief Executive, Jonathan Mosen, says working for oneself is an option many disabled people think about, and that’s even more the case in a tougher labour market.

“As a disabled person who has run my own business in the past, I know the many benefits of doing so. We can work at a pace and in a manner that works for our individual needs, and there are fewer attitudinal barriers to overcome,” he says.

“Some disabled people need assistive technology to help with their digital presence, for example if they can’t see the screen or use a keyboard,” says Mosen. “Choosing the right technology can feel daunting, and that’s one of the ways we can help”.

“Others may need assistance finding resources to get set up to sell their products online, find a business mentor, or even gain cost-effective access to a computer or Internet connection. Grow Digital is here to facilitate the success of disability-driven small businesses with tailored advice offered through a disability lens. It’s a ground-breaking initiative and we’re proud to have been selected by DIA to deliver the service.

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“Working to close digital inclusion gaps, like digital skills, needs really good partners. Workbridge can really make a difference in this community, and we are excited to see what Grow Digital can do.” says Dianne Patrick, Programme Lead for Digital Inclusion at DIA.

The service is free to access. Small business owners who are disabled or who have a majority of disabled staff can learn more and apply by visiting http://GrowDigital.co.nz

The announcement comes on the UN-declared International Day of Disabled Persons, the theme of which this year is “Building Back Better: toward a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 World”.

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