At a time when an effective online presence is more important than ever, Ara has created a social enterprise through
which local businesses and other organizations can access affordable digital solutions.
Harnessing the talents of IT and business students, the ‘Tech Colab’ will provide cost-effective digital products and
services to the community while also giving learners opportunities to learn while working with real-world customers.
Small local businesses and not-for-profits will be able to seek help with website and app-creation as well as SEO,
database management, sales and marketing strategies and much more. CoLab clients may be charged a small fee for the
completed work, but the strategy is to simply cover the costs of supervisor hours and the administration involved.
Bhaswati Ghosh, the CoLab’s Operations Co-ordinator sums it up by saying "Our customers will get a great job done by our
very capable learners, supervised by our knowledgeable colleagues, as they contribute towards the education of the next
generation of industry leaders. Students will also already have made connections in industry before they complete their
studies with us, so it’s a complete win-win!"
Finding ways for smaller businesses to thrive in a post-COVID world is viewed extremely important by the New Zealand
Government, with a suite of new training options and tools for digital commerce now available, especially to operators
within the strained tourism sector.
The $20 million package is part of the Government’s coordinated response to the extraordinary economic challenges
imposed by COVID-19 economic response, and is designed to empower businesses to with improved digital capabilities.
Part of Ara’s commitment to the communities in which it operates is to help local businesses adapt and remain viable in
the face of economic or social headwinds.
Bhaswati comments "As the enterprise grows and evolves, our aim is to foster collaboration across the different
departments at Ara, so that the CoLab will be able to offer a wider range of services and even greater benefits for our
students, and our clients."