Government secures partnership to expand e-commerce opportunities for MSMEs

Government secures partnership to expand e-commerce opportunities for MSMEs

Friday, December 04, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Government has partnered with two international firms to deliver digital marketing solutions and e-commerce opportunities to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) as a mechanism to cope with the impact of physical distancing and other restrictive measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This digitalisation programme is being spearheaded by the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce (MIIC), and was initiated as early as August 2019 through an arrangement with Kalou, a Google-affiliated small business online marketing solution. The ministry said since then, over 1,000 MSMEs have created webpages and have increased their market visibility to customers locally and overseas.

According to the ministry, the Kalou arrangement allows merchants to create their own webpage in less than five minutes at no cost and offers top placement in Google’s search results in the Google Map section free of cost to its clients. It noted, however, that individuals transacting business with merchants who use the Kalou platform are required to make payment using PayPal.

Likewise, Fygaro is the latest entrant to the programme, being finalised in October 2020. The ministry explained that Fygaro is an e-commerce generator that provides options to assist MSMEs with basic e-commerce services, through the Jamaica Business Development Corporation, the National Commercial Bank and other members of the MSMEs ecosystem.

It said the Fygaro partnership offers businesses the opportunity to create their own website, facilitate online stores, payment buttons, links for social media, WhatsApp, invoicing, order management, online accounting and logistics integration.

The ministry noted that merchants operating via this platform will incur no setup cost but are required to pay a minimal monthly fee of US$15 for the integrated suite of services with a three-month free trial period.

The ministry said both platforms are being utilised to further the Government’s goal of digitalising 25,000 MSMEs by 2022.

Additionally, the ministry said MSMEs are being trained in digital marketing and other capacity-building subject areas via webinars and YouTube live sessions in order to optimise their operation in the digital marketplace.

Business owners wishing to take advantage of this opportunity can begin the process through the ministry’s MSME webpage at http://www.micaf.gov.jm/content/msme and on the website of the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) at http://www.jbdc.net.


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