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Google launches MSME Caravan campaign to digitize small businesses nationwide

Google Philippines today launched the MSME Caravan campaign under the Grow with Google program which aims to teach micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) digital skills and introduce tools that can help them become more competitive, grow their business, and grab the opportunities of the online economy.

In partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the MSME Caravan will tour nationwide throughout 2020 to conduct training sessions among MSME owners so they can be abreast of the digital landscape, latest consumer insights, and tools such as Google My Business and the Primer app which can help create a positive impact in their business.

The series of workshops already started, training more than 2,780 MSME owners in over 20 cities across eight regions nationwide. Google and DTI hope to reach more throughout 2020 as empowering MSMEs plays a vital role in driving the economy forward.

According to DTI, 99.52% of establishments in the Philippines are MSMEs which employ 63% of the local workforce and are responsible for generating 25% of the nation’s total export revenue.

“The Department of Trade and Industry is committed to spur MSME development in the country and our partnership with Google helps us achieve this goal. We hope that our joint digital upskilling program will help more MSMEs become competitive, engage with consumers effectively, and drive business growth,” said DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez.

“We are glad to partner with the Department of Trade and Industry in our mission to digitize MSMEs in the country,” said Bernadette Nacario, Country Director of Google Philippines. “Filipino MSMEs have the drive, the passion, and the dedication to succeed. Combine that with the new tools and opportunities of the internet, and there is no limit on what’s possible for them! We hope that the MSME Caravan will help bring on board more trainees, visit more communities, and give more business owners the digital skills they need.”

The opportunities of going online
The number of Google Searches for products, stores, and services “near me” have increased by 2.5X in the last 3 years from 2017 to 2019. The MSME Caravan aims to train business owners on how they can be listed on Google My Business so they can be discovered by consumers searching online.

Google My Business is a free online listing on Google Maps and Search to help MSMEs connect with more consumers in the digital space. It also helps businesses build their online presence, control their business information, and create a free website and posts. It has bookings, direct contact, reviews and Q&A pages, as well as an insights feature which helps businesses understand their customers better.

MSME Caravan attendees will also be trained how to use Primer, a free mobile app which teaches digital marketing skills. The digital upskilling app is available for download on the Google Play or App Store.

Qmansi: A Google My Business success story
Michelle Mariano, a former accountant turned businesswoman from Quirino province, saw the benefits of Google My Business in growing her Qmansi (Quirino calamansi) business which she and her husband started in 2016. They started producing calamansi puree and later on, ready-to-drink juice and concentrate products.

As Qmansi continued to grow, Michelle wondered how to expand her business outside the province. Fortunately, she discovered Google My Business through a DTI seminar in Quirino. She made an account and this immediately helped her acquire her first customers in Manila and other places like Pasig and Caloocan. Just recently, a Korean businessman found Qmansi through Google My Business and visited their farm in Quirino for a business partnership offer. Today, Qmansi produces 5,000 bottles of products daily.

“We are humbled that Qmansi has gone places because of Google My Business. We are also proud at the same time that because of our products, more people now recognize the province of Quirino. We are grateful to DTI and Google for the training that they conducted which helped us reach where we are right now,” said Michelle Mariano.

For MSMEs, get listed on Google My Business to connect to more consumers online. Boost your digital marketing skills today through the Primer app. Join the MSME Caravan in the Negosyo Center near you!