Ebène, 4 March 2022: The Enterprise Go Digital project was officially launched today by the National Productivity and Competitiveness Council (NPCC) as part of the Council’s mandate to increase productivity and strengthen the resilience of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), particularly in the new normal environment marked by the challenges of the Covid-19. The NPCC, through this project, also intends to support participating enterprises in their recovery phase.
Enterprise Go Digital (EGD) is a project spearheaded by the NPCC with financial assistance from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government of Japan. The project focuses on the creation of a level playing field for the SME ecosystem and bringing the right information to aid decision making. It will also empower human resources to boost business velocity.
“The global economy is experiencing a non-stop digital revolution. The pandemic has turbocharged the move to a digital future. People and organisations all over the world have had to adjust to new ways of work and life. In the current environment, digitalisation can provide unprecedented opportunities for economic growth,” the Executive Director of the NPCC, Mr. Ashit Gungah said in his opening address. He explained that while our SMEs can gain from digitalisation, many face challenges in making this transition.
“Enterprises find it difficult to even to take the first step. Lack of expertise and resources also act as a pervasive barrier. It is precisely for this reason that the ‘Enterprise Go Digital' programme was conceived - that is to make it simple for SMEs to digitalise to keep up with the pace of technological change in the global economy. The extent and speed of their digitalisation will enable them to become more resilient and have a profound impact on the transformation of our economy,” he pointed out.
The first leg of this ambitious project will cover an extensive awareness campaign to sensitise Mauritian organisations about the importance of digitalisation in the present era. A series of webinars as part of this campaign will be conducted to show why digitalisation is the way to go for strong business resilience and sustainability. As for the second leg of the project, a call for participation will also be made to attract SMEs among which 10 will be selected through a selection exercise for the implementation of digitalisation projects.
“As with every business, SMEs differ in size, industry and level of experience. No matter what the differences are, going digital is proven to be a key advantage pre and post Covid-19 crisis. Digitalisation and digital tools can help SMEs reduce costs, standardise and automate business processes and reduce the reliance on manpower. Moreover, going digital will enhance SMEs’ competitiveness and understand consumer behaviours. Incorporating SMEs digitalisation is high on our policy agenda as it is a powerful game changer for the economy. It enables SMEs to transform and compete on a larger scale and reach global markets by doing business online,” the Minister of Industrial Development, SMEs and Cooperatives, Honorable Soomilduth Bholah highlighted in his speech.
The Enterprise Go Digital project has been developed keeping in mind that SMEs have a leading role to play in meeting the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) to promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment, and decent work for all (goal 8) as well as promoting sustainable industrialisation and fostering innovation (goal 9).
On his part, His Excellency, Mr. Shuichiro Kawaguchi, the Ambassador of Japan said that his country is very mindful to the socio-economic impact the pandemic had on Mauritius. “It is an absolute need for SMEs to adopt digitalisation to reduce the reliance on manpower, increase competitiveness and productivity. The society will benefit as a whole. I firmly believe that digitalisation will gain more growth post Covid-19. Hence, this project today will play an important role for the sustainability of SMEs,” he said.
The Officer in Charge of the UNDP, Dr. Tony Muhumuza stressed on the fact that digitalisation has been one of the interventions at the core of UNDP support to the Government and the private sector since the outbreak of the pandemic. “Collaborating with the Government of Japan, we are supporting the establishment of digital platforms that connect Mauritian businesses to actors within the region. We are also supporting creation of platforms that enable small businesses deliver their products in the local market, with initial focus on the horticultural sector,” he pointed out.
Enterprise Go Digital (Launch) in the media
04.03.22 Mauritius Newly Launched Enterprise Go Digital to Help Strengthen the Resilience of SMEs (allAfrica.com)
05.03.22 Newly launched Enterprise Go Digital to help strengthen the resilience of SMEs (GIS)
07.03.22 Lancement Du Projet Enterprise Go Digital Pour Aider A Renforcer La Résilience Des PME (Le Matinal)
08.03.22 UNDP supports the digitalisation of Small and Medium Enterprises in Mauritius (UNDP)
09.03.22 Enterprise Go Digital Renforcer la résilience des PME et les accompagner dans leur phase de relance (ION News)
09.03.22 Enterprise Go Digital Strengthening the resilience of SMEs and supporting them in their recovery phase (Mauritius News)
14.03.22 Transformation industrielle Le NPCC, le PNUD et le Japon accompagnent les PME dans leur digitalisation (lexpress)