Design and Grow Your Digital Presence

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New free program to help small businesses adapt and innovate

La Trobe University is inviting small business-owners, especially those based throughout regional Victoria, to apply for a free online program to help them adapt and future-proof their business in the face of COVID-19. Design and Grow Your Digital Presence, funded by Business Victoria and developed in partnership with Investible, is a leading early-stage investment group and experts in entrepreneurial and business development.

Delivered fully online and at no cost to participants, the program will support small business across a wide range of sectors, including hospitality, tourism, health and fitness, retail, manufacturing and the arts.

Over the eight weeks, you will be guided by experts on how you can position your business to thrive, not just survive. Using a proven framework, you dig deep into your business model and learn how to map out the future of your business.

You’ll also gain access to growing virtual library of expert-led resources on key topics including Digital Strategy, Analytics, Email Marketing, SEO & SEM, Social Media, Storytelling and more.

This program is part of suite of courses La Trobe has offered in recent months to help businesses and individuals recover from the impact of COVID-19, including a free online leadership program delivered by the University’s renowned MBA program.

What does the program offer business owners?

  • Master the tools you need to grow
    Learn what you need to move forward into a new digital age with confidence and supercharge your sales, marketing, and communication strategies.
  • Flexible remote learning
    Participate from anywhere with virtual expert workshops, personalised mentoring and online learning modules developed by the business development experts at Investible.
  • An active support community
    Join an exclusive community of like-minded business owners who are facing similar challenges and harness the power of the ‘network effect’.


Easy application process opens 22 July and closes 10 August. Program commences 17 August 2020

Apply now


Attend workshops delivered over 8 weeks

Key Dates

  • Applications open Wednesday 22 July
  • Applications close Monday 10 August
  • Applicants notified by Wednesday 12 August
  • Onboarding of program commences Thursday 13 August
  • Week 1 of program commences Monday 17 August

For further information, please get in contact:

Testimonials and Case Studies

7 years in business

7 years in business

This business came into the program with wholesale and retail store front and was conflicted about their business model. During COVID-19, their business has shut the store front and is exploring larger wholesale distribution through Woolworths/Coles (currently reviewing the margins) and launched Shopify site to sell packs direct to consumer. They have since seen significant traction with this model so far.

18 years in business

18 years in business

This ethical furniture manufacturer serves workplaces in all major corporates across Australia. This business came into the program to test/launch a new concept called Koskela on Demand, working with property developers with supplying furniture packages for their build to rent models. This business secured a 500-unit pilot with Mirvac during the program which is on hold due to COVID-19. They have now pivoted to manufacturing affordable home office furniture, shut down retail store and sells purely online.


Who is the program for?

The COVID-19 Industry Response Program is designed to support a wide variety of small to medium businesses across Victoria.  Business owners from all major industries and sectors are encouraged to apply, including food & beverage, hospitality, fashion, beauty, home goods, furniture, manufacturing and more.

For this program, there is a particular emphasis on regional businesses so we strongly encourage you to apply if you are a regionally based business. Participants in previous programs have been in business between 2 and 20+ years.

Why now?

In a matter of weeks, COVID-19 has changed the world. With travel restrictions and social distancing measures in place, many business owners and manufacturers feel uncertain about the future.

To succeed, businesses must adapt and innovate. The COVID-19 Industry Response Program is uniquely designed to help business leaders develop the mindset, resources and community they need to adapt and innovate in the face of unprecedented change.

What modules will be included?

  • Digital Strategy Planning
  • Google; Platforms plugins and tools
  • Analytics and data
  • SEO & SEM
  • Digital Content and Storytelling
  • Email Marketing
  • Social Marketing

What is the time commitment for this program?

The course has been designed so that once the deadline for registrations close, and access to the course materials open, you will be able to work through the online modules and resources. By designing our program in this way we ensure as much flexibility for participants as possible.

Applications for this program close on Monday 10 August and on-boarding commences Thursday 13 August. Access the program materials and resources is provided Monday 17 August.

We trust that by providing the delivery in this format, we can support as many different businesses and business models as possible.

Who is La Trobe Innovation and Entrepreneurship (previously known as LTAP)?

Innovation and Entrepreneurship is a key focus within La Trobe University's Industry and Engagement strategy. Within our range of programs, we have supported over 111 start-ups over the past three years.

La Trobe University is looking to help equip small to medium businesses pivot and accelerate through COVID-19 in addition to delivering programs to inspire entrepreneurial mindsets within our staff, students and academics.

Who is Investible?

Investible is a leading early-stage investor and one of Australia’s most active Venture Capital firms at seed stage.

Investible is the first investment firm in Australia to bring early-stage investment together with proven entrepreneurial development programs under one roof.

Its comprehensive suite of unique business-building and pre-investment programs that continue to support business across Australia and Southeast Asia.

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