99%SME campaign launches for second year

DBS and Singtel have launched a suite of resource packages to help SMEs in Singapore enhance its capabilities with e-commerce and cashless payments. This is as part of the 99%SME campaign which is in its second year.

The official media partner is MediaCorp and MasterCard is a strategic sponsor.

Mediacorp will also be giving out SG$300,000 in an advertising grant to three SMEs in a contest on www.Toggle.sg, Mediacorp’s digital entertainment and lifestyle service. Consumers will be invited to submit photos of its favourite SME with a short caption. The campaign organisers will then shortlist 10 SMEs and produce videos of them for public voting. The top three SMEs with the highest votes will each receive a SGD 100,000 advertising grant from Mediacorp.

DBS Academy and partners of the 99% SME campaign will offer training courses to SMEs and its employees to upgrade its knowledge and kick-start its online store. Singtel and DBS will be working with SPRING to organise seminars/workshops to help SMEs better understand e-commerce, including areas such as data analytics, digital marketing and cyber security.

Joyce Tee, group head of SME Banking, DBS Bank said: “The 99% SME campaign is a result of a nationwide, public-private-partnership that supports the government’s emphasis on building local capability as SMEs now play an even more crucial role to shape the future of Singapore’s economy. Together with our partners, we are focusing our efforts on helping SMEs build capabilities in e-commerce, become more efficient by adopting cashless solutions and gain new skills with specially designed training programmes.”

To give participating SMEs a good head start to e-commerce, Singtel will be providing the first 500, with a complete and affordable e-commerce solution, under the Singtel e-commerce Solution resource package, for 99 cents a day during the initial six months. Through workshops and hands-on facilitation, the resource package can help SMEs to easily create online stores, in a matter of hours for some and a few days for others. In addition, Singtel will provide marketing training for SMEs to help them attract and retain online customer eyeballs to sustain its sites.

Andrew Lim, managing director, business group, Group Enterprise at Singtel said, “The previous year's campaign results exceeded our expectations and reinforced our resolve to help our SMEs. We will build on last year's momentum with our partners to help even more SMEs and go beyond our support we offered previously. Through the resource package this year, Singtel will help participating SMEs hone its competitive edge by going digital with a simple and affordable e-commerce solution and training courses. To jumpstart its growth, we will rally our many customers and employees in Singapore to lend its support to the SMEs.”

The inaugural campaign last year saw over 1,600 SMEs sign up to participate in the SME Week and helped reach more than a million people through social media to garner public pledges of support. As a result, some SMEs have reported increased sales of up to 50% during that period.

Ted Tan, deputy chief executive, SPRING Singapore, said: “SPRING remains a strong supporter of the 99% SME Campaign as it enters its second year, and we are delighted to collaborate with DBS and Singtel to drive capability upgrading efforts in our local SMEs to help them grow. The efforts to drive the adoption of cashless and e-commerce solutions are critical especially in this age of increasingly digitally-savvy consumers. We encourage the business community to participate in this campaign and leverage the platforms to build up business capabilities and skill sets to address the market needs.”

It is supported by SPRING Singapore, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), trade associations (Restaurant Association of Singapore, The Federation of Merchants’ Associations Singapore, Singapore Manufacturing Federation, and the Singapore Business Federation) and chambers of commerce and industry (Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry, and Singapore Malay Chamber of Commerce & Industry).