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Singaporeans have huge respect for homegrown brands that have broken out of our small island-state and expanded their businesses to other countries. For any entrepreneur and business owner, that is the ultimate dream. Today, Google announced that they are stepping in to help Singapore’s SMEs with their quest to go international, with their “Go Global” initiative.

Google’s new programme aims to equip Singapore-based SMEs with the tools and training needed to quite literally “go global”, by using the digital space as a launching pad. Together with nine industry partners: SPRING Singapore, International Enterprise Singapore, CyberSource, Rajah & Tann Singapore, RSM, SingPost, United Overseas Bank, UOB-SMU Asian Enterprise Institute and Verztec Consulting, Google will be using a mixture of online tools and workshops to encourage and educate local businesses on how to leverage on online tools to bring their goods and services overseas.

Their first workshop, held this afternoon, had around 100 SMEs in attendance.

From left: Mr Ang Ser-Keng, Director, UOB-SMU Asian Enterprise Institute, Mr Mervyn Koh, Head of Business Banking, Singapore, United Overseas Bank, Mr Michael Lam, Head of Singapore Ecosystem and SME, Singapore Post, Ms Teresa Wong, Head of Marketing Asia Pacific, Cybersource, Mr Nicholas Goh, CEO, Verztec Consulting Pte Ltd, Mr Patrick Ang, Deputy Managing Partner and Head, Regional Practices, Rajah & Tann Singapore, Ms Joanna Flint, Country Director, Google, Singapore, Mr Paul Lee, Managing Partner, RSM

According to SingStat, small businesses make up 99% of enterprises in Singapore, and contribute to nearly half of the country’s GDP.

“Last year, on average, about 60 percent of people around the world either conducted research or
made a purchase online. This makes the web an ideal platform for businesses looking to export
their goods and services, while keeping costs down,” said Joanna Flint, Country Director of Google Singapore. “Working together with the industry players, we hope to help local SMEs build their business capabilities, promote international exports and grow to be globally competitive companies.”

Going Global Website

To help educate small businesses on how to begin thinking of expanding out of Singapore, the “Go Global” initiative comes with a new website full of innovative tools and resources to help small businesses thrive online.

Business owners who are looking to “go global” can first see if their business is export ready by entering their website into the in-site Digital Export Plan feature, which will analyse your business’ online presence and provide tips on how to improve. A Global Market Finder will also help you discover which markets you should target next based on the product you are offering.

Go Global Google

There is also a full page of learning videos created by other business leaders who have made the same journey of bringing their businesses to an international platform. This will advise fellow entrepreneurs on topics ranging from optimisation for e-commerce and setting up e-payments, to digital marketing, feasibility studies, translation, as well as international financial, legal and tax processes.

It should come as no surprise that going digital is breaking down geographical boundaries, whether in business or in our personal lives, and to see a giant like Google stepping in to help SMEs shows a great commitment to this vision. Traditional companies and businesses, like local music company Swee Lee, are able to not only stay relevant, but also expand with much less cost than a brick-and-mortar expansion would entail, and it all starts with simple tools like Google Analytics and AdWords.

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