Facebook aims to train 1,000 SMEs

Some 97% of SMEs know the importance of Facebook in promoting their products digitally


FACEBOOK Malaysia has launched the second phase of “Made by Malaysia, Loved by the World” programme to provide small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the country with adequate training to grow internationally.

The second phase will take off in September and is aiming 1,000 SMEs from seven states across Malaysia namely Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Sabah, Sarawak, Pahang, Perak and Johor.

The programme, which made its debut last year in collaboration with the Malaysia External Trade Development Corp and Avana, is all set to launch with a new partnership with DHL Express (M) Sdn Bhd this year.

Facebook Malaysia country director Nicole Tan said the company has always been supportive towards SMEs as they are the country’s economic engine.

“This time around, we brought in DHL because of the feedbacks that we got. The SMEs want to know more on logistics and supply.

“As we know, DHL has already done some good programmes with SMEs and they will be the best people to share global insights on logistics learning with our SMEs.

“We will continuously listen to feedbacks of the SMEs, especially on the things that they want to learn by bringing in more partners in the future,” she told The Malaysian Reserve at the programme launch yesterday.

A survey done by Facebook Malaysia found that 97% of SMEs know the importance of Facebook in promoting their products digitally, where one in five trade their products and services internationally.

The first phase of the programme had successfully trained several SME businesses and created a Malaysia- specific microsite which houses resources for them in Malaysia.

Tan said some of the common challenges for SMEs are getting the right target customers and reaching the global arena.

“Another thing that we have noticed among the SMEs in our country is that they do not have the means to do research the way that large companies can.

“So, one of the things that we have included in this programme is the cross-border insights finder, where SMEs can find the necessary information on the costs and potential competition in the market.

“We also have short e-learning modules via Facebook Blueprint, which include customised learning to help SMEs widen their businesses globally,” she said.

Meanwhile, two SME entrepreneurs who had taken part in the first phase of the programme said it had greatly benefitted their businesses.

Auntie Tim co-founder Rose Nizeana Mokhtaruddin, who is a gourmet chilli seasoning entrepreneur, said her products have attracted a lot more customers ever since she embarked on digital marketing.

“Now that I have more demand, I have expanded my products into nine different variants and take orders from countries like the Philippines, Indonesia and Brunei,” she said.

Oleh Elona founder Tengku Elona, a natural skincare entrepreneur, said there has been significant increase in terms of sales after she joined the programme.

“Using a digital platform is cheaper and easier, I get orders from many Asian countries now without physically being there,” she said.