Every small business in Miami-Dade County now has the opportunity to improve their digital marketing skills, grow their customer base, and increase their competitiveness through a series of training initiatives offered as part of the County’s Strive305 initiative. The training, created by BizHack Academy (bizhack.com), a certified Florida Minority-owned Business Enterprise based in Miami-Dade County, has three elements: a free 15-hour recorded course on marketing strategy for small businesses in English, Spanish and Creole; scholarships for BizHack’s 35-hour live course on social media advertising with personalized coaching; and a series of free Masterclasses on cutting-edge marketing techniques.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our local economy. We remain steadfast and committed to helping small businesses achieve the success they deserve, and we’ve left no stone unturned through our Strive305 initiative to provide training opportunities to give small businesses the skills and tools they need to be future ready,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, who has made supporting small businesses a cornerstone of her agenda. “We are proud to partner with BizHack Academy, a company that has shown its commitment to providing the highest-quality training geared to small businesses.”
Miami-Dade County has some of the highest percentages of small business startups and minority ownership in the nation. Digital marketing is an area that many small business owners report needing better tools and support with implementation. This suite of training offerings is designed to provide key knowledge to businesses in different stages of their learning journey: an introductory course in basic concepts, an intensive course in more advanced techniques, and Masterclasses introducing cutting edge tools.
“We are honored to partner with the Mayor’s Office to provide local businesses the training and insight they need to be successful,” said Founder and CEO of BizHack Academy Dan Grech, a former journalist at The Miami Herald and WLRN turned educator and entrepreneur. “These training programs will help to level the playing field for small businesses and build a stronger and more resilient business community for the future. I don’t know any other county in the country that has shown more of a dedication to providing high-quality and inclusive training for free. We’ve removed the barriers of cost and language by offering free training in three languages, showing a true commitment to equity.”
Element 1 – Free Access to a Recorded Course
The 15-hour recorded course is called “How to Find Customers Online,” and it offers a simpler approach to digital marketing geared for small businesses that are limited in time, money and expertise. The County will subsidize the entire cost of the course, which is normally $1,000, providing it for free to the owners and staff of any business located in Miami-Dade County.
This self-paced introductory course covers the essentials of how to find, attract, and retain customers online using BizHack’s Lead Building System LBS™, a proven process for purpose-driven small business lead generation. The course comes with an additional 20 hours of supplemental recordings, additional videos, bonus handouts, and extra tools that provide small businesses with the practical knowledge to market profitably. The English-language version of the course will launch in April 2023, with Spanish and Creole versions available later in 2023. The course will be a cornerstone offering in the Strive305 Virtual Incubator Program and can be accessed here (https://miami-dade-county.teachable.com/).
Element 2 – Scholarships for a Live Course
For businesses ready for a more intensive education in social media advertising, the Mayor’s Office and BizHack are offering $90,000 in scholarships to 30 small businesses located in Miami-Dade County to attend BizHack’s award-winning live marketing course, “The Digital Marketer’s Edge.”
The highly personalized course features one-on-one coaching, small-group labs and live classes. A carefully orchestrated set of assignments enables companies to build and launch new advertising campaigns from scratch in just seven weeks, an approach BizHack calls “Earn While You Learn.” Since 2020, the average participant has earned $29 in incremental revenue for every $1 spent on ads, a 29X return on investment on the campaigns run during the course. Since its launch in 2015, the course has benefited over 1,000 small businesses, most of them BIPOC- and women-owned businesses.
The courses run from now until the end of 2023. These will be made available to small businesses in Miami Dade County giving them access to a learning experience that can transform their businesses. Past Strive305 Scholars have been highlighted for their business achievements in both of the last two Mayor’s State of the County addresses. To learn more and enroll, visit here (https://bizhack.com/strive305).
Element 3 – Cutting-Edge Masterclasses
The Mayor’s Office will also be supporting additional sessions of the successful online Digital Masterclass Series. The webinar series, now in its eighth season, features marketing experts who explain how to use the latest strategies and tools needed to drive digital marketing success. The next season will focus on emerging tools and techniques for marketing and sales using Artificial Intelligence and ChatGPT.
Artificial Intelligence is having a huge impact on the way every business carries out its marketing.
The new Strive305 #BizHackLive Digital Marketing Masterclass Season will kick off on April 12th with a timely insight into the world of Artificial intelligence. The Season, called “How AI tools like ChatGPT Can Save You Money and Accelerate Your Growth” will examine how small businesses can take advantage of the latest AI tools and avoid being left behind as the game-changing technology shakes up the world of content creation. Previously only available to large companies, the benefits of AI have suddenly become accessible to all and are set to revolutionize marketing, offering major benefits in reducing the cost of campaigns. The season will cover the tools you should be using for text, image, and video creation, how to get the most out of them, and what to be wary of as the nascent industry struggles to evolve its own guidelines.
The season will help business owners understand where the opportunities are to leverage AI, what tools they should be using, and how other businesses are taking advantage of them. Registration for the Masterclass season is free and open to the community here (https://try.bizhack.com/MCSeries).
The Strive305 #BizHackLive Series has included 25 Masterclasses since September 2021 that have had over 2,000 live attendees. The seven previous sessions ranged from topics on conducting a digital marketing audit to building a marketing strategy to preparing for Web3 and the Metaverse. Since the launch of #BizHackLive during the pandemic, it has won awards from the American Marketing Association and Ragan’s PR Daily. The large attendance is thanks to extensive promotion from more than a dozen partner and media organizations, including WPBT South Florida PBS and The Health Channel, the Miami-Dade Beacon Council, and the Miami Foundation.
Strive305 is an initiative of the Miami-Dade Mayor’s Office of Equity and Inclusion that provides resources, technical assistance, and collaborative spaces where small business owners can learn and support one another. These Masterclasses are part of a growing ecosystem of support to help small businesses, which are the backbone of the county economy.
ABOUT MIAMI-DADE MAYOR’S OFFICE STRIVE305 INITIATIVE
The Strive305 program is designed to accelerate the growth of small businesses countywide and support budding entrepreneurs as they launch and grow new businesses.
The program will support the small business community through:
- An online small business and entrepreneurship hub that will inform, educate, and connect small businesses to the resources offered by the county and its partners.
- A virtual small business incubator that will feature a full educational curriculum, coaching, and mentorship opportunities for companies of all types and stages of growth.
- A countywide network of physical incubators, co-working spaces, and maker studios equipped with the tools entrepreneurs need to launch new ventures.
- Multi-week technical assistance boot camps to help small businesses overcome common challenges such as access to capital, finances, business planning, branding, digital marketing, sales, operations, and more.
For more information about the initiative, visit https://www.miamidade.gov/strive305
For more Miami community news, look no further than Miami Community Newspapers. This Miami online group of newspapers covers a variety of topics about the local community and beyond. Miami’s Community Newspapers offers daily news, online resources, podcasts and other multimedia content to keep readers informed. With topics ranging from local news to community events, Miami’s Community Newspapers is the ideal source for staying up to date with the latest news and happenings in the area. Additionally, the newspaper has exclusive Miami community podcasts, providing listeners with an in-depth look into Miami’s culture. Whether you’re looking for local Miami news, or podcasts about the community, Miami’s Community Newspapers has you covered.