Digital Advisors will work with eligible SMEs to develop digital adoption plans tailored to the needs of the client.
The Boost Your Business Technology grant will offer support to small and medium Canadian-owned businesses (SMEs) to adopt new technologies. Support for these businesses will be in the form of grants to offset the cost of retaining digital advisors who will develop digital adoption plans tailored to the business. The grants will cover 90% of the cost to develop the digital plan, up to $15,000.
What is a digital advisor?
A digital advisor registered with CDAP is an organization that meets and maintains all of the required criteria to deliver digital advisory services to eligible Canadian SMEs. Digital advisors are required to provide vendor neutral advice in the provision of advisory services to SMEs and will be subject to CDAP’s Code of Conduct. Registered Digital Advisors will work with eligible SMEs to develop digital adoption plans tailored to the needs of the client. Digital adoption plans must meet the minimum viable elements identified in the CDAP digital adoption plan guide.
Why do we need digital advisors?
The pandemic has changed the way Canadians do business. Companies, employees and customers are doing more and more business online. Canadian businesses need to adopt new digital technologies to meet their customers’ needs and stay competitive. The Boost Your Business Technology grant aims to help SMEs where the digital adoption is more sophisticated, requiring more advanced technology, such as small manufacturing and food processing operations, among others. Supporting a digital economy will help Canadian companies grow and create more jobs and will be crucial to Canada’s long-term competitiveness. CDAP will help SMEs accelerate their digital transformation to fuel economic recovery. Before meaningful transformation can happen, SMEs need an effective digital adoption plan. CDAP is seeking digital advisors to help SMEs create digital adoption plans that will take them to the next level along their business journey. Digital advisors that meet specific eligibility criteria will be listed on the program’s digital advisor marketplace, where interested SMEs can retain their services.
- In an effort to build a diverse marketplace of advisors, CDAP will maintain the marketplace through an open and continuous call for registration.
- Technology vendors are ineligible for registration on the marketplace at this time.
- The decision to retain any particular digital advisor from the marketplace is entirely the SME’s prerogative.
- Registration on the marketplace does not guarantee funding for digital advisors. Digital advisors can only be remunerated if an SME decides to retain their services.
- CDAP does not endorse or certify any advisor or organization listed on the marketplace.
Eligibility requirements for digital advisors
Digital advisors listed on the marketplace may be businesses, post-secondary institutions, business accelerators and incubators, independent for-profit and non-profit service providers with an expertise in small business digital transformation.
In order to be listed on the marketplace, digital advisors must meet the following eligibility criteria:
- hold a relevant post-secondary degree or diploma or certification in a relevant field (e.g., computer science, engineering, business or commerce, digital or information technology or systems; an MBA, CPA or related professional designation is preferred)
- have a minimum of five years of experience providing digital advisory services
- have experience in developing digital business strategies, models, products or services
- have expertise in digital technology solutions for SMEs (e.g. Enterprise Resource Planning, Customer Relationship Management) in various industries (e.g. manufacturing, distribution, retail, construction)
- have experience in executing digital technology selection processes and structural analytical techniques
- be able to provide all elements of a CDAP digital adoption plan (as per the CDAP digital adoption plan guide)
Digital advisors who meet these eligibility criteria are encouraged to submit a registration form online. Upon receipt of the registration form, CDAP will verify the information and determine if the organization will be listed on the marketplace. If approved, CDAP will send a confirmation email to notify the digital advisor that they are now listed on the marketplace.
Digital advisors must disclose if they or the organization they represent is a technology vendor (e.g., selling a particular product or software). Digital advisors must provide vendor neutral advice to clients, and as such, advisors that also serve as vendors will not be permitted to register at this time.
CDAP will perform reviews of digital advisors to ensure their attestations are valid.