SINGAPORE: Helping small- and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) digitise amid tech disruptions is the focus of the latest campaign under the 99%SME movement, launched on Monday (Jun 5).
Co-founded by Singtel and DBS in 2015, this year's edition of the movement aims to garner 5,000 sign ups for the 99%SME website, which is double last year's target.
The campaign also aims to help SMEs venture into e-commerce by signing them up to the 99%SME e-marketplace, which is hosted by Alibaba-owned Lazada Singapore.
Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat stressed that while some business owners may view changes in technology as threats, those that are nimble can respond quickly and take advantage of opportunities in the digital economy.
These efforts come as SMEs grapple with a cautious economic climate in Singapore, said Mr Bill Chang, CEO of Group Enterprise at Singtel. "Our experiences with SMEs tell us that while they acknowledge technology as a game-changer, many have yet to fully harness the power of digitisation."
To help SMEs go digital, the Government had separately launched the SME Go Digital Programme during this year's Budget.
"It boils down to two basic ideas. To go digital, we need the right tools for growth, and partners who can make a difference," said Mr Heng.
That is what the 99%SME movement hopes to provide, by offering tested digital solutions and platforms to SMEs, including those from DBS and Singtel.
For instance, DBS is rolling out a suite of services to help SMEs adopt cashless and e-commerce solutions. Singtel has launched Adtiq, a cloud-based application that will allow SMEs to optimise their advertising efforts on several digital platforms.
Mediacorp is also offering three advertising packages worth S$100,000 each to the top three SMEs that garner the most likes on its Toggle platform.
Aside from the digital tools, Mr Heng said partnerships will make "all the difference", and said new partners from the polytechnics have come on board this year, which will help to build the capabilities of the firms and provide valuable hands on work experience for students.