Every business needs a digital doer.
In 3 months, that could be you.

Get paid. Get skills. Get that job.

Every single business in Aotearoa wants to do business online. And do it well. Problem is, a lot of them don’t have the skills to make it happen.

So if you have the skills, if you’re a Digital Doer, employers want you.

And we can make you a Digital Doer in just 3 months.

Here’s how

  • We’ll teach you digital skills with 12 weeks of online courses. You’ll stay on your current benefit during this training.

  • Then we’ll hook you up with an 8 week paid business internship. Once you go onto this paid internship your benefit will stop. 

  • Following the internship the goal is to turn that into a full time digital job or self employment.

After that, Aotearoa is your oyster.

You’ll have the digital skills that businesses are desperate for, massive job opportunities, a bunch of connections, the skills to help businesses, and even the chance to start your own business as a Digital Doer.

The course

You’ll learn the digital skills that are the most valuable to businesses:

  • How to use digital & productivity tools
  • Bringing a brand to life digitally
  • Creating a successful website
  • Creating engaging content
  • How to use social media to succesfully market products and services online 
  • How to craft a digital strategy
  • How to build up your self confidence and resiliance in the workplace 
  • + lots more

Who can apply

The Digital Doers Academy is for those who are already receiving a Ministry of Social Development benefit or are disadvantaged in the job market from anywhere in Aotearoa. The only other thing we ask, is that you’re keen to learn, ready to work hard, and want a job as a digital doer after the training, we want you to apply. 

If you’ve got access to a computer and the internet, this is your moment. Don’t worry if you can’t access them from home – if your application is successful, our mates at 2degrees will hook you up with a computer and 

Ready? This is your moment. You’ve got this.

Example Course Content

Check out a few of the Digital Doers from the last cohort

Apply in 3 steps


Film a video, up to
a minute long,
telling us why you
want to take part.


Upload your video to a video platform like Youtube and get a shareable link.


Complete the form below and be sure to share your video.

Applications are now closed - If you would like to express your interest for the next round, please submit your details below

The crew behind the Academy

The team is led by relentless innovator, Pat MacFie, who lives with a Te Ao Māori world view. With a deep sense of purpose, Pat is known for his tenacious ability to take an idea and create a force for change, over and over again.

He has built and managed teams, leading the design and implementation of digital innovation for global brands including Xero. 

Pat works alongside Co-Founders Jada MacFie (Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki, Ngaati Maahanga-Hourua, Ngāti Pāoa, Ngāti Kauwhata), Andy Hamilton: formerly of The Icehouse and a former small business advisor to Minister Stuart Nash & Monty Betham: Samoan Kiwi sporting legend

Together they lead a growing team of 25 at innovation agency WeAreIndigo – the powerhouse behind platforms Manaaki.io, Mosäique TV & Small Business Day

The Digital Doers Academy is be led by Rachel Adams, who is the General Manager of Manaaki and successfully ran the last cohort of 25 Digital Doers.  The next round will be facilitated by Soleil Sutherland. 

Manaaki Team


What’s the timeline?

  • 31 Aug – Applications close 
  • 3 Sept – Shortlisted interviewing begins 
  • 17th Sept – Final participants will be confirmed 
  • 27 Sept – 12 week education programme kicks off on 
  • 10 Dec – Programme completed / graduation
  • Jan 10 (end 5 March) – Internship placements start (6 weeks or 8 weeks depending on your benefit)
  • Employment placement from 5 March

How does the funding work?

For the 12-week Academy, you will continue to be on your existing benefit payment from MSD.


For the 8 week internship, Manaaki will pay you as an intern for 30 hours per week the minimum wage ($20p/h). Your benefit will stop when you start your internship. This averages out to be $600 p/week you will be paid. You will need to talk to your Case Manager about how this impacts your current benefits and what you are eligible for, but we’ll keep talking to you about this to support you.

Do I have to be based in Auckland?

No, we will accept applications from across Aotearoa. This programme is delivered using digital tools like Teachable, Slack, Zoom and Google Meets

How much time do I need to commit to this?

12 weeks of training: During the 12 week training programme you are expected to commit 30 hours Mon-Fri. The only hard time for you to check in is on our 9.30am morning hui. This is where you learn what the focus is for the day and meet fellow doers. From there you can manage your time in the day that makes sense to you. Some people work 9am-3pm, some work in the evenings. As long as you get the work done and submit on time, you’ll nail it. 

8 weeks of internship: During the 8 week internship you will also commit 30 hours p/week to your host organisation. You will be paid for 30 hours. The hours you work will be negotiated between you and your host organisation. 

Are the courses online or in person?

The Academy is virtual. However, Manaaki has an office in Auckland where participants are welcome to come.

What does the internship involve?

The Academy will place you (either locally or remotely) with a business (or businesses), to help you put into practise what you’ve learnt. You’ll assess how the business uses digital right now, identify ways they can do better, and then help the business put your plan into action. 

You’ll have the support of the Manaaki team, as well as your fellow Academy. 

At the end of the internship, you may have the opportunity to continue work with that business, or to develop your own business as a digital doer.

What organisations are behind the Academy?

Manaaki supports small Kiwi business owners through the challenges and opportunities of owning a business. Since it launched in March 2020, over 300,000 Kiwis have interacted with content on the platform, or received answers to their questions from Kiwi business experts.

Chooice.co.nz is an online platform for Kiwi business owners to sell their products. It grew out of the NZ Made Products Facebook page (now called Chooice), which is now NZ’s biggest FB page with more than 540,000 members. So far, the Chooice website has helped Kiwi businesses make over $1,000,000.

What are some of the things I will learn

Programme modules are designed to give you a comprehensive understanding and experience of the fundamentals of the digital doers role: 


  • Module 1 – Digital Tools & Productivity 
  • Module 2 – Self Development
  • Module 3 – Bringing your brand and message to life in
  • Module 4 – Creating a successful Website and Ecommerce presence 
  • Module 5 – Content Creation
  • Module 6 – Digital Marketing 
  • Module 7 – CRO & SEO
  • Module 8 – A complete digital strategy 

Each module will consist of a video-based lesson, followed by a practical activity that puts what you have just learned into action. These exercises will be assessed by the programme coordinator and shared with the group for peer review and feedback. Throughout the programme, industry experts are bought in as guest speakers to provide further advice during each module. 

For more context here is a quick overview of what you’ll learn:

  • Key to building an emotive & engaging brand using a Key to Brand Framework 
  • Messaging Framework – how to construct key messages
  • How to run a Key to Brand workshop 
  • Built 3 brands from scratch 
  • Build websites from scratch using Shopify, RocketSpark & Chooice Vendor store
  • Learned 101 Dropshipping using Shopify & Oberlo then making it live 
  • Create a social media content strategy 
  • Create 30 days of content and posting across FB & Instagram
  • Schedule posts using tools like Hootsuite & Later.com
  • Write engaging copy – blogs, social posts etc.
  • Creating owned, earned & paid media plans
  • 101 of Public Relations and writing a media release 
  • Digital Marketing 101 – finding your customers online, customer avatars, how to track using Google analytics, keywords everywhere, dream 100 list exercise, FB campaigns, tracking, Campaign management, etc. 
  • SEO 101, SEM 101, CRO 101 
  • How to use & set up automation & productivity tools like Monday.com, Asana, ClickUp, Toggl, Cloud storage, calendar, Zapier, Calendly, Email signatures, ActiveCampaign etc. 
  • How to set up and connect payment systems like PayPal, Stripe, AfterPay etc.
  • Pricing and how money flows through a company and how to price a product or service
  • Leadership strengths & tools to build resilience in the workplace
  • How to use freelancer sites like UpWork, Fivver & Unicorn Factory and manage subcontractors
  • How to run a digital audit for a business and provide recommendations to create a strong digital presence
  • + much more