B.C. pumps more funding in Digital Marketing Bootcamp to encourage small businesses hone digital skills


RICHMOND – Small businesses are at the heart of BC’s economy. In order for more BC businesses, to hone their skills in digital marketing, the BC government is extending its Digital Marketing Bootcamp program.

The Province has provided Alacrity Canada with an additional $1.5 million to run the program and support more than 2,000 B.C. businesses and their employees to acquire the digital marketing skills they need to shift through economic recovery and beyond. In total, the Province has provided $6 million to the online program.

Through this program and our StrongerBC Economic Plan, B.C. business owners are empowered with knowledge, tools and skills that will help them pivot their businesses to match the needs of the changing digital world.

“Launched in late 2019 and extended in the summer of 2021, the Digital Marketing Bootcamp program has helped more than 6,000 participants get their business online, adapt to changing business models, respond to changing customer demands and spur business growth,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation.

According to BC government, 98% of B.C. businesses are small businesses and they employ more than one million British Columbians, account for 36% of B.C.’s exports and 34% of B.C.’s gross domestic product.

The Digital Marketing Bootcamp has benefited all kinds of small businesses, such as hobby shops, restaurants and content creators. For example, after taking the course, Sharaz Kassam of Shamin Jewellery, which operates three stores in Metro Vancouver, noticed an increase in online sales within 30 days of completing the bootcamp.

“Taking the Digital Marketing Bootcamp helped me pivot my business to take advantage of growing online interest,” said Kassam. “I am now using my new skills to fine-tune my website and social media presence, and sales have continued to rise. As a small business owner, I found the bootcamp very helpful.”

As part of the program, 30% of the participant seats are reserved for people from rural communities (outside the Capital Regional District and Lower Mainland) or people who identify as Indigenous, Black or people of colour (IBPOC).

In addition to extending the Digital Marketing Bootcamp, the Province has begun the next steps in developing the Small Business Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan, which aims to support under-represented entrepreneurs in British Columbia.

Consultation with the business community, specifically with representatives of IBPOC, women, persons with disabilities, 2SLGBTQ+, newcomers and youth entrepreneurs, is underway to discuss further actions to reduce barriers and provide comprehensive support.

The Digital Marketing Bootcamp is led by industry leaders, with instruction being offered through a mix of material and includes live virtual classroom sessions and mentoring. A self-directed online option is also available.

The Digital Marketing Bootcamp is open to small and medium-sized business with one to 149 employees. To be eligible, a business must be B.C.-based and registered to do business in B.C.