With the help of Citi, Verizon, and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, MEDA is bridging the gap between technology and best business practices for our low-income Latino small business owners!
MEDA recently concluded a client survey to assess the impact of its integration of technology courses and trainings with its services for Latino small business owners. These clients receive basic digital literacy, social media basics, Wix web design courses, and QuickBooks software tutorials with our standard business coaching and technical assistance. Of the 59 respondents, 41 clients (70%) adopted technology in their business, either through the use of web, software, or sales applications.
An astounding 64% of these clients reported increases in income through the adoption and use of computer applications. By applying knowledge and skills learned through MEDA’s business and technology trainings, clients were able to add revenue through improved marketing, online sales, website development, and through the use of business-oriented applications like GoPago (an online ordering app) and Square (a device that makes credit charges via mobile phone).
Over 48% of these clients also reported that the adoption of technology helped to lower their business expenses. Through a course that teaches home-based family childcare providers how to apply for healthy food subsidies through the Children’s Council’s Minute Menu Program, several MEDA clients were able to save $120 per child served per month. In addition, businesses were reducing expenses through the use of Quickbooks and online banking services that streamline their accounting and book keeping processes.
Through the survey and evaluation of client data, we discovered that clients who participated in both workshop trainings and one-on-one coaching are increasingly more successful in adopting technology for their business practices when compared to clients who participated in workshop trainings alone. Clients who participate in both one-on-one coaching and workshop trainings benefited from hands-on assistance in working with computer and web applications during one-on-one coaching sessions. MEDA Business consultants are able to address our clients’ individual questions and needs, which further enable clients to apply the lessons learned during group training sessions and adopt the use of technology for their business.
In addition, our variety of course offerings proved essential in the program’s success. MEDA offerscourses that were both attractive and easily applicable to our clients. Our most popular, and perhaps most useful, computer class for small business owners is our Wix website design course. This course provides our business clients with the knowledge and skills needed to build an online presence for their business and expand into new markets. For example, Carmina wanted to expand her business presence online, but did not have the skills and know-how to do so. She completed the Wix website design course, and with one-on-one assistance from a MEDA business consultant, was able to create a website for her gift shop, Wrap Ur Dreams (wrapurdream.wix.com/tienditaregalitos). This experience enabled Carmina to leverage her business’ web presence and expand into online sales with a large cosmetic retailer. Within one week, Carmina was able to sell $200 of merchandise through her own customized online store!
If you would like to learn more about how to connect your business to technology, please contact Edwin Rodriguez at email@example.com. Or to learn more about computer courses at our newly opened Plaza Adelante Tech Center, please contact Leo Sosa at firstname.lastname@example.org.