Recognizing that micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are the backbone of the Philippine economy with 99.52% or 998,342 of the total 1,003,111 registered business enterprises (based on the 2018 Philippine Statistics Authority data), technology company Google Philippines launched the MSME Caravan campaign under the Grow with Google program.
Micro enterprises constitute 88.45% (887,272) of total MSME establishments, followed by small enterprises at 10.58% (106,175) and medium enterprises at 0.49% (4,895). The possibilities are endless if the MSMEs have online visibility where consumers can find them.
In order to reach and help more MSMEs in the country, Google Philippines has partnered with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for the MSME Caravan. So far, the campaign, which includes workshop sessions on digital tools, has reached 2,780 MSME owners in more than 20 cities across eight regions nationwide. Google and DTI hope to reach more throughout 2020.
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“We hope that through this campaign, we will be able to teach them the needed digital skills for them to scale and become globally competitive,” said Bernadette Nacario, country director, Google Philippines. “We have more tools that will help them familiarize themselves with the digital landscape, as well as, customer insights.”
“Every business is different so we have different digital technologies that can help them get to that growth that they are aspiring for.”
“At Google, we emphasize our commitment to helping entrepreneurs to scale their businesses,” said Yves Gonzalez, head of Government Affairs and Public Policy, Google Philippines
Based on the data provided by Google Philippines, the number of Google searches for products, stores, and services “near me” has more than doubled in the last three years from 2017 to 2019.
The three entrepreneurs who were able to scale their businesses through Google’s My Business platform include Michelle Mariano of Qmansi, Beltran Almendral of Anito’s Dried Pork, and Gerome Panlilio of Germano’s Chilli.
“Seeing the diversity of businesses here in the Philippines, we at Google, started thinking how can we create programs that can help the entrepreneurs grow the businesses not only locally but also internationally,” said Samuel Jeanblanc, Market Lead, Google Philippines. “During our research, we also looked at the readiness of small businesses in this country and found out that only 1% have websites and/or are fully digital.”
Jeanblanc noted that MSMEs can better explore exporting their products if they are able to utilize tools in the digital landscape.
“We saw that 25% of the export revenue of the Philippines is done by small businesses so definitely one of the key pillars was how can we assist entrepreneurs in exporting their products,” Jeanblanc said.
Jeanblanc conducts the series of training and workshops nationwide with the assistance of DTI to reach out to more small businesses.
Google My Business is a free online listing on Google Maps and Search. Google will list names of establishments or businesses in Google Maps so customers can easily find them. It also helps businesses build their online presence, control their business information, and create a free website and posts. It has bookings, direct contact, reviews, and Q&A pages, as well as an insights feature that helps businesses understand their customers better.
For small businesses that have already explored the digital space, Google offers the Google Primer App Media, a free mobile app that offers quick and easy-to-understand lessons for owners to grow their businesses and digital marketing skills.
The app transforms insights from trusted industry experts into jargon-free interactive lessons and digital workshops featuring practical next steps to help achieve business goals. These lessons take five minutes or less and cover an expansive range of relevant topics including email marketing, customer service, financial management, and more. Primer lessons can easily be accessed through phones or tablets by simply downloading the app through Google Play and App Store. Primer has been downloaded over 10 million times globally.