Global Café is connecting SMEs across the globe

As coordinator of the Digital Age: Innovation & Technology stream at the successful Global Café, prelude to the G20, I was one of the lucky few to be part of the team to bring this ‘once in a generation’ event to life.

Amongst the high calibre of speakers who participated was Frank Farrall, Lead Partner of Deloitte Digital. Franks presented some insightful and highly relevant statistics during his presentation, many of which I was surprised by. For example, did you know that SME’s make up over 99% of business in Australia? With this many SME’s in Australia it is surprising to see such numbers of businesses using digital for more effective business operations.

Deloitte’s research called The Connected Business showed only 16% of SME’s were using advanced digital technology in their business.  A full copy of the report is available here: https://www.deloitteaccesseconomics.com.au/uploads/File/Connected%20Small%20Business.pdf

A few of the findings from the report reiterate the importance of digital to SME’s:

  • SME’s that are using digital technology are 4 times more likely to be growing when they competitors are struggling to keep up.
  • They are also generating up to $100K per employee more than competitors so they generation and engagement piece is incredible important
  • In operations and efficiency, only 25% of SME’s are using digital tools to drive business efficiency
  • Digital has bought the costs of setting up business to less than $50K whereas 10 years ago this would cost closer to $1 million

So for those Small businesses that don’t think Digital is important for you, think again!

You can see Franks presentation at Global Cafe here:

 

Alexis Ohainian talking Vegemite recipes, an internet connection and a few buddies

One of the great benefits of being involved in Global Café was getting to talk to and interact with inspiring digital entrepreneurs like Alexis O’hainan. From the first conference call to his presentation live at Global Café, I was inspired by his refreshing yet relatable insights into the digital world and using the internet as a platform for creativity and entrepreneurialism.

If you don’t know who Alexis is then refer to the Wikipedia description below: Alexis Ohanian (born April 24, 1983) is an American internet entrepreneuractivist and investor based in the Brooklynborough of New York City, best known for co-founding the social news website reddit, helping launch travel search website Hipmunk, and starting social enterprise Breadpig. He is a partner at Y Combinator. Yeh he knows his way around digital!!

During this live Global Café beam in Alexis made mention of searching for Vegemite recipes (see the video to get a full understanding of the context), and how having an internet connection and a few buddies transformed into a business.

One of the key insights I took from Alexis was his simplification of the internet. “The internet is an amazing platform for knowledge and gives everyone the ability to share what you create on it. Users of digital are creators, not just consumers of digital” So simple, yet such truth!

His belief when he started Reddit held true and should be the basis for every digital start up “As long we built something that people wanted, we would win”.

Global Café bought together innovators, entrepreneurs and digital experts from around the globe. And as Alexis rightly says in his presentation during the event “you don’t need to be in Silicon Valley to be successful, you can do it anywhere in the world”

Watch the video here: