Digital Boost™

The Small Business Digital Boost™ initiative will support more small business owners to realise the benefits of digitising their business.

Visit the Digital Boost website for more information on the programme(external link)

Small business digital package

On Monday, 21 December MBIE announced a government-funded Digital Boost skills training and support initiative to support small businesses.

MBIE release: Digital Boost for small businesses

On Thursday 24 September Small Business Minister Stuart Nash and Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis announced details of a $20 million digital package to support small businesses and tourism operators to transition digitally in the COVID-19 world.

Beehive release: Building business strength with digital tools(external link)

The package has three funding components:

Small business Digital Boost™

$10 million allocated to support small businesses to realise the benefits of digitising their business, including helping them develop digital strategies and access digital skills training, support and relevant digital tools.

Tourism-related small business

$5 million from the Tourism Covid Recovery Fund will be added to the $10 million Small Business Digital Boost™ initiative to ensure a specific focus on tourism-related small businesses who can also benefit from the initiatives that will be delivered within this programme.


Qualmark has received $5 million to support tourism businesses. Industry specialists appointed by Qualmark will provide a series of workshops and one-on-one digital advice. Key areas are strategic digital marketing, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), organic growth, website performance and online booking system audits, online advertising and paid media, social media content and creation, conversion optimisation, lead generation and measuring success.

Small business Digital Boost™ – Key initiatives

To support more small business owners to realise the benefits of digitalisation, MBIE is partnering with the private sector to deliver the following initiatives within the Small Business Digital Boost™ programme:

  1. Digital Boost™ Spotlight Series – where small business owners who have recently transformed their business by adopting digital tools and digital ways of working share their experiences to benefit other small business owners. This will include small businesses from a wide range of sectors, including tourism.

    If your business or if you know of a business who recently transformed digitally, please get in touch.

    We’re looking for small businesses (defined as 20 or less employees and micros) – from any sector (but especially agribusiness, hospitality, tourism and those who export) who have recently transformed the way they do business by adopting digital technologies or practices. This could be anything from digitising stock management process to developing a social media presence to selling online for the first time.

    Apply for your business to become a case study(external link)

  2. Digital Boost™ Skills Training and Support – focused on building the skills, confidence and trust required to enable small business owners to realise the benefits of working digitally and/or with digital tools. The training will be available to any small business who has begun to explore the digital world and wants a boost to accelerate their adoption.

    Meet Frances Valintine from the Mind Lab – MBIE is excited to partner with The Mind Lab to provide small businesses with access to digital tools.

    Digital Boost partnering with The Mind Lab(external link)

  3. ‘The Right Tool’ – a New Zealand-based digital applications and services marketplace. It brings together digital tools, technologies, products and services into a central place so small businesses can choose the products most suited to what they need. Businesses owners will be able to quickly find, rate and evaluate the apps and digital tools needed to help run their business. 

    Are you a digital provider or developer? Visit The Right Tool(external link) to add your digital app or service.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) is working with the Ministers’ Small Business Advisors and Digital Industry Leaders to ensure the design of these initiatives is driven by the needs of business, and are useful, accessible and successful in building digital confidence for small businesses.

Tourism operators can find out more about the Qualmark support by visiting the Qualmark website.

Qualmark tourism advisory support service(external link)

More details will be available for small businesses on the website. link)


In May this year Better for Business (B4B) conducted research into the health of kiwi businesses in the context of Covid-19. We have just completed second wave of research to test what has changed and include a deep-dive on how digitally enabled businesses are.

The field work was conducted by independent agency Research New Zealand (RNZ), with a total of 2,280 respondents. The results are weighted to be representative of all NZ businesses by both industry and size. The topline results are below as two A3 factsheets.

Keep up to date

For industry participants interested in further updates, please subscribe to our Small Business Digital Boost newsletter.

View previous Small Business Digital Boost newsletters

Subscribe(external link)

Last updated: 05 January 2021