Digital skills and capacity building: Haelsoft's contribution to Nigeria's digital skills and capacity building – Businessday

Marketing


It is hard to imagine any country in the modern world today without an existing digital economy. The contributions of digital assets and inclusion across all industries that function in a commercial capacity cannot be overemphasized, as it make up for a huge percentage which makes work and processes easier.
Given its stated importance, it is imperative that different organizations build capacity for businesses and organizations in order to contribute generally to the growth and development of any nation.
Haelsoft has been one of the top companies which have focused and invested extensively on improving digital capacity building by holding different training sessions and events. Haelsoft have always understood the significance of capacity building in the digital sector and how it can stimulate a better digital economy which has been lacking so much in Nigeria.
While technology has contributed significantly to better education and business development over the years, there has been an increasing need and demand for better digital inclusion, especially with the occurrence of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Innovative tools facilitate easier access and exposure to newer learning experiences that could help improve businesses, and likewise the digital economy. Learning digital skills in particular ensures business’s gain access to knowledge and skills they will usually to be exposed to within a regular work setting.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, physical and social distancing increased the need to learn digital skills. Several businesses and entrepreneurs served by Haelsoft’s digital skills capacity building efforts would easily be able to operate their business effectively in even the most restricted conditions.
With the prospect of a new normal, embracing a sustained adoption of digital skills, tools and remote work required a demand-driven urgency to deliver high-quality digital capacity-building.
With the help of technology, Haelsoft was able to deliver training for digital skills in an engaging, interactive, and visually stimulating environment. Here, trainees were enlightened on Ways through which technology and digital skills help minimize business costs ranging from transportation and communications, while fostering capacity building activities that impacts the audience.
As a result, participants were able to improve inclusivity in their business, thereby allowing them connect to customers who they were less likely to have access to. The several digital skills training programs held by Haelsoft led to an enhanced integration of digital tools into the delivery of capacity building activities.
Capacity-building is built from three interdependent levels – individual, institutional and systemic. Capacity-building as such goes beyond technical cooperation and training approaches. It can be defined as “a change process through which entrepreneurs and institutions engage in a set of learning methods, whereby they develop and acquire knowledge, skills, know-how, and tools that strengthen their ability to effectively intervene, transform and improve themselves and the environment in which they operate.”
In the context of Haelsoft’s work, capacity building is a far more complex process than “training”, which is but one element of capacity building. Effective capacity-building takes place in a dynamic and interactive learning environment that should combine a variety of tools and methods, including specialized courses, policy seminars, expert group meetings, tailor-made trainings, peer-to-peer learning and knowledge exchange workshops that support the learning cycle.
We approach Digital capacity-building as a key tool for achieving goals as part of a holistic capacity-building strategy. Blended learning approaches can be used in many ways to integrate both digital and non-digital methods. It should be noted that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to either digital, or non-digital capacity building.
The appropriate use and mixture of both techniques is highly contextual. It depends on learner needs, subject area, availability of devices, stable internet connection and instructor capacity.
Prior to outlining the specifics of different digital capacity-building approaches by Haelsoft, an overview of the opportunities and challenges of digital capacity building experienced by Haelsoft is presented.
1. Reduced cost: The cost of developing a digital capacity-building initiative varies widely. It depends on the type of training, type of approach, and specific tools used. The costs of developing digital capacity-building materials can often be higher, especially those for in-person trainings.
The high costs of developing digital media are linked to the use of platforms, videos and graphics that required additional skills and purchase of specific software. This can, however, often be offset against lower total costs of implementing digital capacity-building, thanks to savings made on facility rent, time of facilitators and trainers, and travel expenses.
2. Inclusivity: While the digital divide can create inequality of access, the digital and in-person format helped to reach participants from marginalized groups. People from marginalized groups, for example persons with disabilities, or women had no trouble attending in person.
It should, however, be noted that, depending on the context, marginalized groups may become more isolated in a virtual learning activity, as their specific needs become less visible. Digital capacity-building also strengthen spatial inclusivity. Rural areas may not have the same access to education as urban areas. Our Digital capacity-building helped to bridge this divide.
3. Innovative technological tools: Innovative tools enable the creation of immersive, interactive, personalized and collaborative learning experiences. These are different to and potentially more effective coupled with in-person experiences.
Whiteboarding software, for example, enables real-time collaboration and brainstorming, while allowing additional functions, such as voting. The use of artificial intelligence on a learning platform allows learning experiences to be personalized. This can be achieved through content suggestions based on a learner’s previous activity.
1. Digital divide: As highlighted in the previously, digital capacity-building has the potential to reach users on a much broader scale than in-person learning. This did not, however, disguise the fact that many still lack the financial means, skills, or internet connection necessary to partake in digital activities scheduled by Haelsoft. To resolve this issue, the following strategies were implemented:
The program was scheduled to be held both offline and in-house.
We ensured all learning experiences are optimized for mobile devices, since smartphones are often more accessible than desktop computers.
We enabled the download of materials for offline use. Also, there were varieties of the format, including several versions of learning content. For example, video content is bandwidth heavy, audio is less heavy, and text is light.
We Provided appropriate technical support throughout the learning experience to those who experienced difficulties accessing resources.
2. Limitations of Virtual Learning Methods: Perhaps the most obvious limitation of a virtual learning method in comparison to in-person learning is the lack of physical interaction.
Limitations of this nature include: Lower attention span from learners, Reluctance to use or learn technology, Less personal, social, and human learning experience. Virtual collaboration also did not suit all personalities and learning styles. A Lack of informal social interaction and networking prior to and after the learning experience also seem to be an issue.
To solve these issues, we provided clear guidelines for receiving technical support and encouraged a more interactive training session through online workshops.
Read also: Nigeria’s 95% digital literacy by 2030 promising – Pantami
The most recent digital skills and capacity building event organized by the management of Haelsoft was in 2021. The training was targeted at helping numerous businesses within the business space of Edo State to adapt to the changes due to the COVID-19, and throve in business using fail-proof digital marketing techniques.
As you may already know, Digital Marketing is any form of marketing products or services, which involves electronic devices. It can be both online and offline. According to Haelsoft, “it is the use of internet and related digital information and communication technologies to achieve marketing objectives.”
Digital marketing and it`s tools (online advertising, online video and interactive television advertising, mobile marketing, buzz marketing, websites and social media) are perfect for communication with all stakeholders, and at first place with customers.
Accordingly, digital communication become significant element of marketing communication. Companies can hardly gain profit without getting noticed, especially if the target audience is young people that are digital natives.
The training focuses on new trends in digital marketing and their impact on companies’ processes to explore how a strategic adoption of digital marketing tools can influence sales and productivity of businesses in Edo State.
Marketing has always been about connecting with your audience in the right place and at the right time. Today, that means you need to meet them where they are already spending time: on the internet.
While traditional marketing might exist in print ads, phone communication, or physical marketing, digital marketing can occur electronically and online. This means that there are far more possibilities for brands to reach customers, including email, video, social media, and search engines.
At Haelsoft, we talk a lot about inbound marketing as a really effective way to attract, engage, and delight customers online. But we still got a lot of inquiries from people all around the Nigeria about digital marketing. So, we decided to answer them, this time in Edo State.
The aims and Objectives of the Digital Marketing Training in Edo State includes:
To build the capacity of 400 Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) across the 18 local government areas of Edo State and provide them with digital marketing support so that they are able to improve their business performance and engage communities around their products/services with Social Media Marketing.
To help businesses in this region improve their brand awareness.
To improve ROI and Measurable results of MSMEs
To build and support “Digital Marketing Ecosystem” across Edo State while leveraging on existing Digital Marketing Agents.
To enhance the depth and quality of Digital Marketing information available and accessible to MSMEs in Edo State.
The contributions of this program in helping build the digital skills and capacity of businesses in Edo State cannot be overemphasized, due to the significant results that this has been recorded among businesses that participated.
Over 90% of these businesses have achieved significant growth in sales and business operations, after implementing the skills, knowledge and strategies acquired through the program.
The integration of digital marketing strategies into their business’s operations have contributed to exponential lead generation, conversion, and customer retention.
This is further evidence of how much digital skills and capacity building contributes towards a better digital economy for business and Nigeria as a whole. Ezeadichie
Onyeka Michael is the Founder & CEO of Haelsoft Digital, According to Ezeadichie Michael, human capital development is fundamental to the growth of every industry and investing in talent is the key to long term success for brands across Nigeria (Africa).
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