Studies in Learning, Evaluation, Innovation and Development > Vol. 7, No. 2 (2010)

Collaboration between higher education and the Economic Development Board: providing e-business opportunities for regional small businesses

Janet K Sawyer, University of South Australia
Nina Evans, University of South Australia


This article describes the outcomes of collaborative research between the Business and Regional Enterprise Unit of the University of South Australia’s (UniSA’s) Centre for Regional Engagement (CRE) and the Whyalla Economic Development Board (WEDB) conducted with small businesses operating within the regional city of Whyalla. The findings of this research indicated that there was a need to raise awareness of the advantages of using the Internet. Many businesses in the retail and services sector did not appreciate the benefits of using the Internet and e-commerce and required practical assistance in this area. In response, students from UniSA’s School of Computer and Information Science are assisting regional firms through service learning projects that provide guidance in the design, implementation and maintenance of a web presence. Partnering with the WEDB, the University is working to develop technically aware regional small businesses that are able to compete in a global marketplace.

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