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TEKWILL “STARTUP ACADEMY” FOR ENTREPRENEURS PROVIDES ONLINE TRAINING COURSES IN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
August 17, 2020 @ 9:00 am
Representatives of Moldovan small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) will learn to use digital solutions, marketing tools, online promotion and sales in order to make their business visible in the digital environment and to continue their activity during a pandemic. In this regard, the TEKWILL Project launched “Startup Academy”, a series of courses in practical fields which will provide the necessary knowledge dedicated to SMEs. For several months over 200 SMEs will benefit from direct expertise on the problems they face in the process of migrating their online business from mentors with experience in marketing, communication, IT, logistics, and human resources.
The aim of the initiative is to train entrepreneurs so that at the end of the course they understand the mechanisms underlying the growth of a successful online business. The courses are organized within the TEKWILL project with the support of USAID and Sweden, together with the National Association of ICT Companies, Moldova IT Park, UNDP, and ODIMM.
“Startup Academy” offers complex training sessions for entrepreneurs
Ana Chirița, director of the TEKWILL project stated: “The need for an integrated program of useful courses in the digital field was signaled to us by the representatives of SMEs in a study carried out within the“Digital Upgrade”project – a program through which we want to contribute to digitalization of Moldovan business. Practically 90% of the participants mentioned that they need the expertise and knowledge necessary to become competitive and do not have the ability to build sustainable online businesses. Responding to their expectations, we are launching this complex program of courses in which entrepreneurs will benefit from expertise starting with the principles of launching an online business, continuing with the identification of customer needs and establishing links with other development partners.”
The program is structured in two levels: intermediate and advanced. In the first stage entrepreneurs will learn about the importance of physical presence on online platforms and how to adapt a business to be as close as possible to customers. Among the areas to be studied at the intermediate level are:
• The basics of digital marketing. During the course, the representatives of small and medium business will learn to make their business known in the online environment, to find promotion opportunities on different platforms and to plan a long-term strategy to stay online.
• Content development. To remain close to customers, an online business must maintain communication with them. Entrepreneurs will benefit from expertise in developing quality content and segmenting customers through the content they post.
• Identifying online partners. The course trainers will help entrepreneurs find sources where they can create partnerships (food-non-food companies, international networks, B2B platforms, etc.) to sell their products and services. From the experience of mentors, they will learn the basics in creating relationships with partners and will be able to find out the benefits of a marketplace as a tool and market with processes ready for online commerce.
• Online security of the company. The development of a company also requires technological maintenance. Thus, entrepreneurs will receive advice on the importance of a specialized team to maintain the technical processes behind the business and to remedy any problems that may arise.
In the second stage, more advanced courses will provide direct mentoring on the activities behind e-commerce and maintaining an online store for the SME representatives. At this level, courses will teach:
• Creating an online store. Before setting up the online store, entrepreneurs need to plan and research every tool that would facilitate business development. From the showcase, the products, the categories and to the ordering of the site, all the processes require careful planning. IT specialists will also provide solutions about the platforms that host and allow the adaptation of a site according to the needs of the business.
• Process automation. Because going online also involves automating processes that were previously done manually, the course also includes mentoring in the automation of accounting, customer work processes, storage and others according to the identified need. Entrepreneurs will receive advice on existing automation solutions on the market, digital service providers and differences between process maintenance systems.
• Financial operations. In the case of electronic stores, all financial transactions carried out online also require the integration of digital payment systems. Entrepreneurs will be introduced to working with existing online payment systems in the Republic of Moldova, how they can be successfully integrated, who are the providers and how they can implement the solutions for integrating electronic payment systems.
• Legal issues. Because e-commerce has changed the concept of the economy so far, the transmission of data remotely and the use of all electronic means for an online transaction includes several obligations for entrepreneurs. During the course, trainers will also address topics related to legal issues regarding e-commerce, personal data, transaction security and electronic signature.
To date, about 472 teams and 680 companies have benefited from Tekwill’s support in growing and improving their business. As part of the Digital Upgrade program, the project aims to push the boundaries of the IT sector to grow world-changing ideas.
The TEKWILL project – The revolution begins!
The TEKWILL project is implemented by the National Association of ICT Companies, with the financial support of 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 contribute to increasing the competitiveness of the IT industry and other strategic sectors of the economy, the center 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.