Close to 100 business leaders from 79 Singapore companies graduated from 'Squared Online for SMEs' programme yesterday, Mar 14.
The digital marketing leadership programme, launched in 2017, was aimed at fostering the next generation of digital leaders. It is a partnership between Google, global training provider AVADO and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) in support of the TechSkills Accelerator initiative.
Participants of Squared Online for SMEs include traditional homegrown companies such as Hiap Tong Corporation, a heavy equipment rental company, and Mothercare, which has had a presence in Singapore for over 30 years.
Participants attended online classes over 24 weeks by a team of industry experts, who helped hone the participants' skills in critical areas, such as social, mobile and data analytics.
Minister for Communications and Information Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, who officiated the graduation ceremony, said, "In the digital economy, organisations from all sectors will need to be agile and harness infocomm technologies to boost their capabilities and stay competitive."
He reiterated the "ABC" formula – highlighted at the Committee of Supply Debates last week – to help the workforce and businesses ready themselves for the future of economy. 'A' to accelerate the digitalisation of existing sectors, 'B' to build up Singapore's info-comm media companies, and 'C' to create Singapore's future technology sectors.
"Squared Online for SMEs is an example of strategy A in action. The programme provides SMEs with a strategic understanding of today's changing consumer landscape, and let their decision makers and leaders develop the necessary skills to drive digital transformation for their companies," said Dr Yaacob.
"Small business are a very big deal – in fact, they make up a large part of Singapore's economy," Stephanie Davis, Country Director of Google Singapore, said at the graduation event. "With technology, we can give the SMEs in Singapore the tools they need to compete with larger brands globally. We hope that the successes of this graduating batch of companies will inspire others to learn how to harness the power of online to take their business to new heights."
Sandy Tsang, Managing Director APAC for AVADO, said, "AVADO is passionate about learning that works, and Squared Online for SMEs is a testament to that. We are bringing peers and experts together to strengthen the Singapore SME community's digital knowledge and leadership skills. Moreover, we are able to reach hundreds of SMEs with each intake, which means that we can deliver this impactful learning at scale."