- This event has passed.
HOW DIGITAL SOLUTIONS CAN HELP BUSINESS REINVENT THEMSELVES IN TIMES OF CRISIS
July 27, 2020 @ 10:10 am
How do you market your products during a pandemic? How do you communicate with potential distanced buyers? How do you manage a team of employees in isolation? These are just some of the questions that Moldovan SMEs are asking. Whether we are talking about HoReCa business, beauty, trade, logistics or agriculture, owners need to intervene decisively to continue their business. The transfer of business activity in the online environment was the only measure that small businesses in Moldova were able to adopt since the use of digital tools allows them to increase efficiency, productivity, and competitive power. This would not have been a problem if each of the SMEs had access to the right digital solutions,yet also the necessary experience in using them.
Vadim Scobioală, founder and administrator of a pet food store: “Before the pandemic, we only sold products in our physical store. When we found ourselves in this unprecedented situation, we bought a website development system but we were unable to implement it due to lack of experience. We realized that we needed specialists to guide and advise us to put into practice and create a functional, friendly site. If we manage to start online commerce we will revive the business – we will be able to create a database of buyers, we will expand and automate most services.”
Ana Sîtnic, the founder of a cafe in the capital: “The pandemic came like an avalanche over us. Automatically, we had to move to online activity and learn on the go. Our main problem is that we do not have a website, customers cannot view our products, cannot order, and pay online – and all these operations need to be done quickly. As a solution, at this stage, we want to make the platform functional and incorporate into it all products and services, online payment, meal reservations and integration of payments. The existence of a functional site would make us more visible in the online environment and we could grow our business.”
Romeo Melnic, administrator of an accounting firm: “Given that our employees communicate a lot with customers, a software that organizes and sets tasks, monitors work steps, would help us maintain the process efficiently and take into account of customer needs. As a solution, there are similar systems on the market, but we need a team of specialists to guide us and help us adapt the software to the needs of the company so we can offer convenience to both employees and customers.”
Other Moldovan SMEs are facing the same problems, which are now looking for solutions – from process automation, digital promotion, to consulting on online trade legislation. To support of them, within the TEKWILL Project, the National Startup Moldova “Digital Upgrade” Program was launched, where SMEs are helped to digitize their business activities.
530 companies were urged to come up with solutions for the digitization of SMEs
The pandemic caused by the new coronavirus has increased the demand for digital solutions with about 200 SMEs signalling this need within the project. Through “Digital Upgrade” at least 40 small and medium businesses will benefit from solutions. To identify them, the TEKWILL project, together with its network of partners, mobilized the entire IT community in Moldova – 530 companies and IT startups in the country.
Ana Chirița, TEKWILL Project Director: “In the new reality, today more than ever, IT innovations are an absolute necessity both to overcome current challenges and to combat the economic crisis. The IT community was receptive to our requests so we were able to identify several solutions needed by SMEs – digitization of internal processes, e-commerce, remote communication platforms, etc. We believe that the integration of information technologies in different business areas will be the lifeline of small and medium businesses. And this, in the long run, will contribute to providing multiple business development opportunities, to increasing the economy and quality of life in Moldova.”
The Startup Moldova “Digital Upgrade” program is implemented with the support of USAID and Sweden development partners, together with ATIC, Moldova IT Park, UNDP and ODIMM.
Startup Moldova – we grow ideas that change the world!
Startup Moldova is a platform for generating, piloting, and implementing new ideas for both the local and global market. The program will map all the actors involved in this field, and information technologies will be connected to all areas of public and private interest, on local and global markets. The program is part of the TEKWILL Project, implemented by the National Association of ICT Companies, with financial support from the United States Agency for International Development and Sweden. “Tekwill” was created in 2017 as a Center of Excellence of the ICT sector in Moldova, with the main purpose of aligning the field with current market requirements. Aiming to increasing the competitiveness of the IT industry and other strategic sectors of the economy, the center has expanded its fields of activity, becoming in 2019 a complex project at national level, with the slogan “The revolution begins!”. The basic objective of the TEKWILL Project, as a platform dedicated to the progress of the IT sector, is to ensure a major impact on the economic development of the country, by improving the entrepreneurial and educational capacities of society, but also by increasing the research and development potential of educational institutions, in line with the demand in the IT market.