Preparing SMEs for the new digital economy was the key motivation behind The FinLab’s Cycle 3 Smart Business Transformation programme. This year, The FinLab programme expanded its scope from FinTech start-ups – which it focused on in 2016 and 2017 – to help SMEs in Singapore undergo a smart business transformation.
From March to August 2018, The FinLab welcomed 11 Singapore-based SMEs whose owners understand the need to digitalize and wish to capitalize on the opportunities. It introduced the SMEs to new innovations that are applicable to their business and matched them with suitable solution providers of these innovative technology solutions. Beyond that, the SMEs were also equipped with the tools and know-how to self-innovate and keep pace with the fast-changing environment.
These 11 SMEs comprise a diverse range of industries such as retail, logistics, construction, wholesale trade, and travel. Digitalization is a need that applies across industries, and what is paramount is these SME owners have the desire to transform.
Over the four-month programme, The FinLab and the SMEs, together with the relevant solution providers co-created and ran pilots in areas such as social media marketing, new sales channels, business processes, change management and data analytics. Cycle 3 was designed with the view to use technology to address the most pressing business needs of today’s SMEs, as well as create avenues for the technology providers to commercialise their solutions.
Being the first acceleration programme in the region, the Smart Business Transformation Programme of The FinLab imparted and gained many lessons and insights into this essential digitalization journey of SMEs and solution providers across sectors. These will be valuable in serving SMEs in the region, as The FinLab brings its flagship programme to Thailand. By working with regional UOB offices, local governments and partner agencies, the programme will deliver and help drive smart business transformation and connectivity for more SMEs in the region.