The collaborations are part of Singtel’s 99%SME initiative to help small to medium businesses use digital tools to get online, reach out to a wider customer base, and develop e-commerce capabilities.
Andrew Lim, managing director, business group, group enterprise at Singtel, said, “Many SMEs with a long and rich heritage do not have the resources to market themselves effectively online or connect with younger, digitally savvy customers.
“Our partnerships with the two polytechnics allow us to help these SMEs evolve and digitalise their businesses, to preserve their heritage.”
“Through this innovative partnership between the private and educational sectors, we also provide digitally-savvy students the opportunity to gain business insights and entrepreneurship experience while they help in the digitalisation journey of the SMEs.”
Under the partnerships, Singtel and Ngee Ann Polytechnic would focus on helping multi-generational family-owned SMEs, including those managed by the polytechnic’s alumni members, to digitise their operations using business analytics solutions and improve their efficiency and competitiveness.
And, in addition, Singtel and Temasek Polytechnic will engage SMEs in traditional businesses such as provision shops, watch shops, tailors and tea-leaf merchants to provide ideas to keep their heritage brands alive. By leveraging digital technology, students from the polytechnic’s School of Business will guide SMEs on using the 99%SME website to market themselves online without cost.
As part of the 99%SME movement, Singtel says the partnerships with Ngee Ann Polytechnic and Temasek Polytechnic complement partnerships forged with Nanyang Polytechnic and Singapore Polytechnic in March this year, to help SMEs in the retail and F&B sectors digitise their business.
Singtel, together with DBS and other partners, launched the nationwide 99%SME movement in 2015, aimed at rallying Singapore organisations to use products and services offered by SMEs.