In partnership with Adecco, the International Chamber of Commerce and edX, EdCast invests $315 million in workforce education for small and mid-sized businesses
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–EdCast announced today a commitment to helping small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) unlock organizational productivity and innovation by waiving access fees to Spark by EdCast that features access to edX courses and programs for one year. This $315M initiative is made possible by EdCast’s SMB partners — Adecco, the International Chamber of Commerce, and edX — in an effort to help SMBs overcome challenges brought on by this year’s pandemic-related economic volatility.
“Small and mid-sized businesses are struggling to adapt to the new normal, facing challenges that range from health and safety to financial to employee management,” said Karl Mehta, CEO and Founder of EdCast. “By granting free access to a suite of tools that enable remote work and collaboration, EdCast and its SMB-oriented partners are pitching in to support the small business community, a critical driver of the nation’s economic success.”
Spark, EdCast’s market-leading Learning Experience Platform (LXP) for SMBs, enables remote upskilling, training and learning programs. SMB employees will have access to thousands of in-demand skills and subjects associated with formal badges and certifications they can earn and share on topics ranging from cybersecurity to mindfulness. Available online and as a mobile application, Spark can be accessed on all major digital platforms — Google Search, O365, MS Teams, GSuite, FB Workplace, Salesforce — and has been shown to drive a 20% increase in productivity. Additionally, SMBs can choose to offer their employees the ability to earn innovative credentials through edX, including MicroMasters® program credentials, earned after completing a series of graduate level courses from top universities that deliver deep learning and in-demand skills to employers.
This initiative is part of an ongoing collaboration that EdCast and other corporate partners launched in 2020 called the Future of Work Alliance. Stemming from conversations with global business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the Alliance seeks to build new public-private partnerships to coalesce the world’s most innovative companies for change.
EdCast’s partners in this $315 million initiative have made important and significant commitments to SMBs as well, including:
Small businesses play a critical role in the health of economies around the world. Just in the U.S. alone, SMBs provide jobs for roughly half of the nation’s private workforce. Today, many small business owners have been forced to do more with less, making it essential to get the most out of every dollar, every resource and, most important, every employee. At Adecco, enabling small businesses through our portfolio of companies remains a key priority of our executives.
Marcus Sawyerr, Adecco’s Global Head of Digital Partnerships, said: “Many small businesses are not able to offer the formal training and development programs provided by larger companies to their employees. This is why Adecco partnered with EdCast to bring Spark–EdCast’s market-leading remote work platform for collaboration and lifelong learning–to SMBs and their employees. Spark provides a personalized daily feed that includes videos, courses, articles and more, all tailored toward users’ learning and training needs to ensure they stay competitive.”
International Chamber of Commerce:
As the institutional representative of more than 45 million companies in over 100 countries, ICC is committed to saving lives and livelihoods by supporting the survival and rapid recovery of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) post-pandemic in line with the global Save Our SMEs campaign. Sharing ICC’s expertise via the Spark platform will enable continued professional development for more workforces and allow struggling SMEs to continue bridging skills gaps and futureproofing workforces to help weather the COVID-19 storm.
John W.H. Denton AO, ICC Secretary General, said: “Delivering our quality, professional education from a trusted source is in line with ICC commitments to provide concrete tools to help save our SMEs. We are delighted to partner with EdCast to make ICC expertise even more accessible to SMEs at this crucial time, when most micro- and small enterprises do not have enough working capital to keep business going, yet alone invest in training that can help workforces survive and thrive.”
edX is the trusted platform for education and learning. Founded by Harvard and MIT, edX is home to more than 30 million learners, the majority of top-ranked universities in the world and industry-leading companies. As a global nonprofit, edX is transforming traditional education, removing the barriers of cost, location and access. Fulfilling the demand for people to learn on their own terms, edX is reimagining the possibilities of education, providing the highest-quality, stackable learning experiences including the groundbreaking MicroMasters® programs. Supporting learners at every stage, whether entering the job market, changing fields, seeking a promotion or exploring new interests, edX delivers courses for curious minds on topics ranging from data and computer science to leadership and communications. edX is where people go to learn.
Anant Agarwal, edX CEO and MIT Professor, said: “edX is excited to collaborate with EdCast to help SMBs upskill, reskill and train their workforces by providing access to the highest-quality content available from top institutions and in subject areas relevant to their business today and in the future. We are committed to helping all companies come out of this period of economic crisis with workforces ready to tackle the future.”
For more details on EdCast’s Spark for SMBs offering, please visit https://spark.edcast.com.
Originally published on businesswire.com.