Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) and Zeald are partnering to launch the Digital Cluster Initiative where groups of businesses will come together to transform their digital operations, grow their businesses and strengthen SME performance in the regions.
Starting as a three-cluster pilot, BNZ and Zeald are committing $500,000 to the project that will equip businesses with state-of-the-art eCommerce and digital collaboration tools to increase productivity, competition and develop new routes to market.
In addition to an e-commerce platform, businesses in each of the pilot clusters will be set-up in a centralised digital marketplace with wraparound support to help establish their online brand.
BNZ Chief Economist, Paul Conway, says, “Business clusters have huge potential to transform Kiwi SME performance.
“Many small Kiwi businesses operate in insular local markets, but by clustering on e-commerce platforms and using digital tools they will be able to expand into new territories, lift performance and returns.
“Digital marketplaces help bring both domestic and international economies closer to Kiwi SMEs. Over time we hope that it creates new export markets for New Zealand businesses,” says Conway.
BNZ Head of Growth Sectors Brandon Jackson says, “By combining Zeald’s digital expertise with BNZ’s reach and networks, we want to help New Zealand businesses supercharge their growth, using technology to lift productivity and enter new markets.”
David Kelly, Chairman of Zeald, says the digital opportunities for New Zealand are enormous.
“Through this initiative, we want to help businesses to collaborate, to adopt ecommerce, and to build a digital economy – supporting businesses to grow and thrive in a digital world.”
The Digital Cluster Initiative is part of BNZ’s and Zeald’s commitment as founding members of the Digital Boost Alliance.
Business groups within New Zealand can apply now to be one of the three pilot digital clusters at www.digitalclusters.nz. Applications are open until 16 December, 2021.