High-profile entrepreneur Mark Bouris will head up a taskforce established by the Federal Government to encourage small businesses to adopt digital technologies that will streamline their operations.
Bouris will be joined on the Small Business Digital Taskforce by Spiro Pappas (Executive General Manager of Global Institutional Banking at NAB), Pip Marlow (former MD, Microsoft Australia), Su McCluskey (former CEO, Regional Institute & MD, Energy Renaissance) and Gerard Schenkel (Former CEO, Tyro Payments & Managing Director, BGA Digital) plus Liberal MPs David Coleman and Craig Laundy (Assistant Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science).
Treasurer Scott Morrison said Bouris (founder, Wizard Home Loans & Executive Chairman, Yellow Brick Road) was the ‘right man for the job’ of chairing the taskforce. He noted Deloitte research indicating that small businesses with advanced levels of digital engagement are 1.5 times more likely to be growing revenue, 8 times more likely to be creating jobs and 14 times more likely to be innovating.
“Small business is at the heart of the Australian economy – 3.2 million small businesses employ around 50 per cent of Australia’s workforce, or around 5.6 million Australians,” he said. “But many are not taking advantage of the opportunities that the digital economy offers.
“If we empower small businesses to digitise and streamline their operations, the economy benefits through an increase in productivity and through job creation.”
Mark Bouris advised small business owners, “If you’re not going digital, you should be.” He explained: “When a business begins to digitise and use digital tools, it opens up new opportunities to grow, diversify revenue streams, find talent, access finance, work smarter and enhance the value of the business when it is time to sell.”
The Small Business Digital Taskforce will conduct a series of meetings, workshops and hackathons with businesses over the coming months to explore impediments for business in engaging with digital technologies and how these impediments might be addressed.
“Adopting digital practices makes small businesses more competitive and helps them take advantage of new opportunities,” said Michael McCormack, the Small Business Minister.
“This Government backs small businesses to help them thrive, realise their full potential and create more local jobs.”
Assistant Minister Laundy added, “We want more small businesses to participate and shape Australia’s digital economy and working with businesses on solutions that will help them is critical – we want to hear ideas from across the country, so get involved.”
The Taskforce will report their findings to the Government by 28 February 2018.