The United Overseas Bank (UOB) and Google are joining forces to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) like HealthMark in Singapore go digital. The Leadership Academy will teach participants how to embrace technology to enhance customer experience and boost their performance.
This fifth of August marked the beginning of the new free programme. It was set in motion by Chan Chun Sang, the Minister for Trade and Industry.
Under the guidance and financing of government agencies SkillsFuture Singapore and Digital Industry Singapore, no fewer than 400 business leaders will learn the ropes of digitalisation. Spanning across three days, the training will consist of interactive lessons and discussions conducted by experts at UOB, Google, and other organisations. It will take place at the Google office in Pasir Panjang.
Those interested will be divided into groups, or cohorts, of 50. Each group will enter the programme on a different date, reveals Healthmark. The first one is due on August 13th.
Business entrepreneurs willing to sign up for the SME Leadership Academy should apply online. It has to be noted the initiative will be available until the end of 2020 and is expected to help over 400 SMEs.
Google’s managing director for the region, Ms Stephanie Davis, said the programme was entirely based on feedback accumulated over the past months. The data were provided by business owners from various industries like manufacturing, engineering, travel, and retail. Overall, more than 100 individuals took part in the survey. This helped to identify the major hurdles firms face when it comes to the Internet Economy.
The biggest obstacles encompass inadequate digital skills, resource and capacity limitations, and lack of solid digitalisation strategies.
UOB and Google promise those people who complete the training will learn how to address the foregoing problems. They will be taught how to increase efficiency through the use of different types of software and the implementation of various digital marketing strategies, like Google Ads Search engine marketing. They will also know how to incorporate human resource solutions into their businesses.
SMEs are the cornerstone of the city-state’s economy, contributing nearly 50% of the GDP. However, for things to work smoothly, they should remove all roadblocks from their journeys to digital transformation.
According to research from 2016, the Web Economy has contributed massively to the global GDP. It amounts to the impressive S$115.9 trillion. Different studies have shown that the same tendency is observed in Singapore. In fact, it is estimated that by 2021, an additional US$10 billion will be flowing from the digital world into the country.
This is not the first time SMEs have received assistance in the digital department. Earlier this year, the government confirmed it would continue the current initiative that aids small and medium firms in staying in business.
The main problem is that new technologies can cause serious disruptions to one’s business model not only in terms of know-how but also with respect to finances. For instance, the purchase of artificial intelligence and cybersecurity software can dent a hole in one’s wallet.
With the help of the government, leaders can expect to have some 70% of the price subsidised. This is the only way to secure a bright future in the New Economy.