Present of Presence


Anna Vainer is Co-founder of Katra Experiential Learning. An educational consultant and group facilitator, she leads and collaborates with numerous international projects in informal education, community building and social entrepreneurship. She is a frequent speaker on issues of the global Russian speaking Jewish community.

Research demonstrates that smaller businesses, by and large, are not maximizing the benefit of their internet presence. This may be surprising to hear, in light of the significant gains that are almost too obvious for any potential customer/service provider. In my case, there was absolutely nothing to maximize—my company simply did not have ANY presence at all. The company I have created together with my colleague, "Katra," was so concentrated on “getting the job done” that we kept postponing the website until we had more. More clients, more graphic design, more pictures, more reviews, etc. Our high demands regarding the potential website were contrasted by our complete lack of ability to spend precious work days on collecting and polishing its concept and content.

We even gave some “drag and drop” free websites a run. And while some people manage to make the most out of those, our website could be safely defined as “plain ugly.” And there was always a project, more urgent or important, that kept us away from focusing on it.

With great gratitude for the ROI Micro Grant, I finally "went digital" and enlisted a professional web developer to take care of the process for us. It proved to be a tremendous success—finally, there was someone who shared my sense of ownership and responsibility for this task. Moreover, the process is a great contribution to our general thinking about the types of services we provide and the right way to reflect it to potential customers. I am deeply appreciative for having made this incredible asset a reality as we concluded the development stage, and aim to "go live" within weeks. The accessibility, positioning and the professional image stemming from this website are already priceless.