Have it your way

Fresno, Bitwise Industries associate to assist smaller enterprises

Bitwise Industries’ Bitwise | 41 building, at Ventura and R streets in downtown Fresno, is one of several buildings the company operates in downtown Fresno. Along with the city of Fresno, the technology and entrepreneurship company jointly launched a new Digital Empowerment Center in February 2023 to offer information technology and digital commerce training and mentorship for small and micro-businesses in the Fresno area.

Bitwise Industries’ Bitwise | 41 building, at Ventura and R streets in downtown Fresno, is one of a number of structures the enterprise operates in downtown Fresno. Along with the town of Fresno, the know-how and entrepreneurship firm jointly launched a new Electronic Empowerment Middle in February 2023 to supply info technology and digital commerce instruction and mentorship for compact and micro-enterprises in the Fresno space.

Fresno Bee file

Bitwise Industries and the city of Fresno are launching a new effort to help local small business owners to improve their information technology and digital literacy.

Bitwise, a self-described hub for technology innovation and entrepreneurship founded in 2013, will be home to the new Digital Empowerment Center. “This collaboration with the city of Fresno will bring businesses previously left out of the digital economy into the modern era,” said Bitwise Fresno vice president Thilani Grubel.

Grubel said that during the COVID-19 pandemic of the past three years, “in an economy that went nearly digital overnight,” many owners of small and micro-businesses have failed to take full advantage of technology and digital tools. “In Fresno they have struggled to stay afloat as a result,” Grubel added.

The center’s team includes a working group led by Fresno residents in underserved and disconnected neighborhoods, who will provide outreach to small businesses to help them gain access to knowledge and tools to succeed in an increasingly digital economy.

The program also includes advocacy, mentoring and informational workshops.

“We hope this program will be able to provide the much-needed support to local businesses that otherwise would have fallen even farther behind,” Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer said in a prepared statement. “Many of these businesses sell unique or traditional products that represent our region but don’t have access to the online tools that enable the use of technology within commerce.”

By teaming up with the city of Fresno, Bitwise will provide local businesses with free support, technology tools and skills with the goal of promoting a broad and inclusive economic recovery in the Fresno area.

The Bitwise website indicates that the Digital Empowerment Center is a limited-time program, ending in November.

Bitwise’s Digital Empowerment Center is expected to reach as many as 5,000 small and micro-businesses. The center’s goal is to help at least 1,500 business owners by introducing them to information-technology tools and improving their digital literacy.

Doing so is aimed at helping owners increase their ability to drive commerce and revenue through websites and apps, processing digital payments, and digital or web-based record keeping.

Since it was founded in Fresno, Bitwise has steadily expanded its model of technology training and support for tech entrepreneurs to three more California cities, Bakersfield, Merced, Oakland; and out of state to Toledo, Ohio; Buffalo, New York; El Paso, Texas; Greeley, Colorado; and Las Cruces, New Mexico.

This tale was at first published February 7, 2023, 4:55 PM.

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Lifelong Valley resident Tim Sheehan has labored as a reporter and editor in the region since 1986, and has been with The Fresno Bee given that 1998. He is currently The Bee’s facts reporter and also handles California’s higher-speed rail task and other transportation difficulties. He grew up in Madera, has a journalism diploma from Fresno Condition and a master’s diploma in management experiments from Fresno Pacific College.
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