WiPay Jamaica to provide 1,000 free websites to MSMEsFriday, April 23, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Fintech company WiPay Jamaica will be providing 1,000 micro, small and medium-size enterprises (MSMEs) with a free e-commerce website and free hosting on May 16.
Project 1000, a multimillion-dollar initiative, aims to enable businesses to foster digitalisation during the novel coronavirus pandemic and surpass their geographical boundaries in marketing and profits.
Opened to all MSMEs, interested participants can visit WiShopsCaribbean.com and register for a free website. Registrants will then be contacted by WiPay, with additional instructions of what they need to qualify to be a part of Project 1000.
Kibwe McGann, WiPay Jamaica country manager, said while WiPay will provide additional support to registrants for website development, the creation of a website on the platform does not require web developer skills, cash, fees or credit cards.
Websites will be provided through WiShops, the Caribbean's first zero-code website application WiShops uses drag-and-drop technology which enables users to simply drag images of products or services to their website to add their prices. Payments are processed directly to the entrepreneur's bank account via WiPay.
“COVID-19 has signalled the beginning of where the world is going and most importantly where Jamaica needs to go. Real growth must stem from empowerment and inclusion of more people in the digital space,” McGann said, noting that Project 1000 was inspired by Prime Minister Andrew Holness' statement on balancing lives and livelihoods and lessons learned through the eCommerce National Delivery Solution (ENDs).
The company was among the private-sector partners involved in the platform's development.
He pointed out that in 2019, the global e-commerce market was valued at US$9 trillion, and is projected at a compound annual growth of 14.7 per cent, while the Caribbean e-commerce market is valued at US$5 billion and is projected to grow by 25 per cent.
On the launch date, WiPay will attempt to set a new world record in the Guinness Book of World Records for 'Most users in a web development hangout'. At the end of the launch event, all websites will be fully operational.
“When we consulted with London-based Guinness World Records, the category did not even exist. This was a new category altogether. It's not that WiPay is chasing a record, we are setting the record,” McGann revealed.
“This will become a symbol of national pride…another thing that Jamaica is known for. We are considered the leaders of the Caribbean, so let's continue to lead in this digital revolution.
Everyone that signs up and participates will be a part of history…not just history but the Jamaican story,” he asserted.
Project 1000 is sponsored by First Global Bank Limited, Mastercard, Jamaica Promotions Corporation, and the Jamaica Observer.