SME Digital Reboot programme launched in Singapore, supports 500 companies by 2022
Published 9 March 2021
SMEs will get a significant boost to adopt digital technologies, as a part of the SME Digital Reboot programme launched on Tuesday.
The programme targets to provide digital resources and training for 500 companies by 2022, with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), who still perceive digital transformation as costly and without enough assistance available.
After a pilot programme that has benefited 38 SMEs and two multinational corporations (MNCs), NTUC LearningHub (NTUC LHUB) has officially launched SME Digital Reboot programme on Tuesday under its joint effort with NTUC U SME, UOB’s innovation accelerator, The FinLab, and Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP).
“SMEs are key engines of our economy, yet 40 per cent of SMEs surveyed cited the lack of support and expertise as barriers to digitalisation,” said Said Eugene Wong, chairman of NTUC LHUB.
According to UOB Global Economics & Markets Research, SMEs contribute 48 per cent of Singapore’s GDP, employing about 65 per cent of the workforce and constituting 99 per cent of all enterprises. However, while 83 percent of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore now have digital transformation strategies in place, more than half (54 percent) reported delays in their digitalisation plans due to COVID-19, as per the 2020 SME Digital Transformation Study report produced jointly by Microsoft Singapore and the Association of Small & Medium Enterprises (ASME).
Through this programme, NTUC LHUB and NP will offer digital resources and tools, training in five key tracks of digitalisation, namely digital communication and collaboration, workflow automation, process automation, data processes and visualisation, and digital marketing. On-ground implementation support in the form of workplace learning sessions is also the key part of the programme.
As Singapore is under an exponential digital push, representatives of the programme expect that effectively strengthening SME’s digital capacity can reboot the growth of Singapore and constitute a “positive mindset shift” in SME employers to invest in their workers and upskill to keep pace with the need for digitalisation.
In the initial stages, NTUC U SME will leverage its network of SMEs and associations to boost outreach efforts. The FinLab will provide companies with access to digital resources and tools on The FinLab Online to help them understand their business needs and determine a sustainable digitalisation strategy.
Employment agencies, which are the main participants of the pilot programme, will also be supported to kickstart their digital transformation through a partnership between Association of Employment Agencies Singapore (AEAS) and NTUC U SME.