The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted all businesses in Malaysia regardless of their size. It has been especially challenging for small and medium businesses with some struggling to stay afloat while others reinvented their offerings and even went fully digital.
Google Malaysia understands that the recovery period differs for every business. Since March this year, Google has rolled out various initiatives and programmes to help businesses pivot quickly while learning new digital skills, adapt and in some cases, rebuild.
1. RM14 million grant to support Go Digital ASEAN program
In terms of providing financial incentives and resources, Google said it is lending micro and small enterprises a helping hand with an RM14 million grant in support of the Go Digital ASEAN program. The program aims to help train up to 200,000 people from rural regions areas with digital literacy skills and tools to help them search for jobs or set up an online business.
As part of the program 15,000 Malaysian Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs), unemployed youths, indigenous communities and people with disabilities will be trained with the help of the International Youth Center and Startup Malaysia.
2. Google for Startups Accelerator: Southeast Asia
Another initiative Google has launched is Google for Startups Accelerator: Southeast Asia, a three-month online accelerator program designed for high potential, early-stage tech startups across Southeast Asia. The program is said to help startups solve technical challenges using Google’s support and resources. This year’s program will focus on startups that offer solutions relating to healthcare, education, finance and logistics.
3. Mahir Digital Bersama Google
Besides providing funds Google is supportive of digital upskilling and training through its two training programs. Among them is Mahir Digital Bersama Google, a virtual workshop that helps local businesses transition to the digital era. It has added new modules aimed at guiding business owners in building their online presence and taking their sales online.
To help Malaysians enhance their knowledge of Google’s tools and solutions, Google has a free one-stop online platform, Skillshop. Just as the name of the program implies, its objective is to help owners upskill while still running their business. Participants are able to choose when, where and how they want to learn at a pace that works for them.
According to Google, the training programs have helped upskill over 8,000 Malaysians in the past year. It added that more Malaysians are receptive to learn via online webinars now that physical workshops are not possible. Another effect of holding the workshops online is that it has its reach to participants from other states such as Perak, Pahang, Sabah and Sarawak.