Google has announced partnerships with the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and Singapore Infocomm Technology Federation (SiTF) to expand the potential reach of an SME-focused ecommerce program to as many as 13,650 member companies. The company pledges to train 2,500 SMEs by 2019.
The effort expands on Google's Go Global program, an effort to help Singapore SMEs execute a digital go-to-market strategy for foreign markets. Since its launch in 2015, the program has helped 1,000 SMEs get online and export through digital.
At the launch event on Monday, two success stories took the stage: Ian Ang of SecretLab and Declan EE of Castlery. The speakers talked about the journey of their businesses, the highs, and lows, and the role Google’s account managers played in helping the SME’s scale with digital marketing.
Gilberto Gaeta, Head of Google Marketing Solutions for Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines and Emerging Markets, took the stage and talked about how agencies with expertise in SME’s had been shortlisted to help SME’s through the Go Global program, how United Overseas Bank (UOB) would help SME’s enter unknown markets, and the grants offered by the SPRING Singapore to close the gap between ambition and digital talent.
“The partnerships we have in place with UOB, NTUC and SiTF will help us spread the voice and make sure that we reach as many Singapore SMEs as possible,” Gaeta shared with Campaign Asia. “We will train 2,500 small and medium enterprises by 2019.”
Initially launched in 2013 for large advertisers and agencies, the Squared Online program by Google was created to help develop a framework on the best practices in digital based marketing and the tools under the Google portfolio to achieve marketing objectives. In 2015, the program was launched in Asia for the first time, drawing in brand marketers and agency leaders from the APAC region. The success of the Asia launch was shortly followed by the announcement that SMEs would become a core focus of Google for the years to come.
With its partnerships with the government and access to global markets, Google has positioned itself as an integral facilitator to help, train, and nurture SME’s in Singapore. The Go Global program has also been launched in Malaysia and is slated for the entire APAC region.