Mindanao Times

Google, DTI partner to digitize MSMEs


MANILA – Google Philippine­s and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) launched Wednesday the MSME Caravan to encourage micro, small, and medium enterprise­s (MSMEs) to use digital tools to grow their businesses.

Under the Grow with Google program, the MSME Caravan will be conducted nationwide this year to train entreprene­urs in utilizing Google platforms, such as Google My Business and the Primer app that are useful in daily operations, as well as to improve the entreprene­urial skills of MSMEs.

“We are glad to partner with the Department of Trade and Industry in our mission to digitize MSMEs in the country. Combine that with the new tools and opportunit­ies of the internet and there is no limit on what’s possible for them,” Google Philippine­s Country Director Bernadette Nacario said.

On the sidelines of the

event, Google Philippine­s Head for Government Affairs and Public Policy Yves Gonzales said the program targets the MSMEs in provinces where there is low awareness in going digital for their businesses.

“One key challenge in their mind is they have to pay for the tools,” Gonzales said, adding that both Google My Business and Primer are free online platforms.

Google My Business allows entreprene­urs to be more searchable online by registerin­g their business informatio­n like address, map direction, and contact details.

Gonzales said registered businesses on this platform appear on “near me” function of Google, which helps those who are searching for stores, products, and services near their current location.

“When you have a tourist coming to the Philippine­s and he wants to try lechon in the Philippine­s, the first thing that the tourist will do is to search Google Maps or Google Search ‘lechon near me’. When you have your own website, you will be searchable and be searched in the Maps,” he said.

From 2017 to 2019, searches for stores, products, and services on Google’s “near me” have increased by 2.5 times.

“Another important thing is validation. It adds credibilit­y

to the MSME, especially when we are talking about exporting. When a potential buyer looks up your business, the first thing they’ll ask themselves is let’s go to their website and let’s see

who their corporate people are and their experience­s. It really helps the business to grow internally and even export-wise when they have their own website,” he added.

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