OAS launches plan to digitize one million MSMEs to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in Mexico

The agency opens the portal to incorporate more than a million Mexican small companies into electronic commerce.

5 min read

The Organization of American States (OAS) opens today, hand in hand with Kolau , a marketing platform for small and medium-sized companies, the portal through which the Mipyme Digitization Plan is launched to mitigate the impact of COVID -19 in the country's micro and small companies, and close the country's digital divide.

OAS launches plan to digitize one million MSMEs to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in Mexico
OAS launches plan to digitize one million MSMEs to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in Mexico

The habit of consumption has been transferred from the street to the internet. According to Google statistics , in the last ten years searches that include the word “buy” have increased more than 500 percent in Mexico.

Despite the exponential and sustained increase in the habit of consuming on the internet, just ten percent of Mexican Micro, Small and Medium-sized Businesses have an internet presence and still a smaller percentage have a mechanism to sell through the internet. Lack of knowledge, time and financial resources are the three barriers that prevent closing the digital divide.

Image: OEA

The launch of the OAS Plan was scheduled for the end of May, but the crisis caused by COVID-19 has made progress to mitigate the impact it is having on the country's SMEs.

The “Mipyme Digitization Plan” allows creating an intelligent web page with integrated electronic commerce completely free of charge, in addition to accessing a virtual training network led by government entities, universities as well as chambers and business associations in the country united around the Plan.

“It is a tool that gives MSMEs the opportunity to prosper and internationalize. The platform will contribute to improving the living standards of many people in the Americas, ”says Dr. Maryse Robert, director of the Department of Economic Development of the Organization of American States .

Access to the “Mipyme Digitization Plan” is free for all micro and small companies in the country as well as for any undertaking, regardless of whether or not they are formalized. Through digitization and foray into electronic commerce, it is intended that non-formalized companies become more professional and formalized.

In the United States, the percentage of consumers who buy daily supermarket products online has grown almost 50%, from 23% in 2018 to 38 % in 2019 according to the US Online Grocery Survey. According to research firm Nielsen, this percentage is also increasing in Mexico, currently standing at around 15 percent.

“Mexican consumers are buying not only medium-high price products or services on the Internet, but also daily use, such as food and grocery products. All companies benefit from offering their customers the possibility to pay through their website, regardless of their industry or the price of their products. ”Says Daniel Sánchez Mola, CEO of Kolau.

The Plan also aims to create social awareness for which it joins the fabric of Chambers, Associations and Universities of the country with whom there is already a strategic relationship of collaboration.

“We need to increase digital awareness and electronic commerce. Today, micro and small companies close without knowing why. Ester Digitization Plan promoted by the Organization of American States represents a solution to create awareness and digitize them 'says Juan Felipe Chemor, President of the Valle de Toluca Chamber of Commerce.

The objective of the “Mipyme Digitalization Plan” is to incorporate 100,000 Mexican micro and small companies into electronic commerce annually, in order to go from 2% to 25% of companies that operate through electronic commerce.

“For PayPal it is a great satisfaction to continue increasing our presence in Mexico, especially thanks to projects such as the“ MIPYME Digitization Plan ”, which not only promotes electronic commerce locally, but through PayPal, gives access to more than 300 millions of our users around the world. We are sure that this is a great step to boost entrepreneurs and small and medium businesses in the country, ”says Patricia Salaverry, Head of Business Development for Latin America at PayPal.

About the 'Mipyme Digitization Plan

The “OEA / KOLAU MIPYMEs Digitization Plan” was presented at the VI Dialogue of High Authorities of Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, organized by the Department of Economic Development of the Organization of American States, in El Salvador in April 2019.

The Plan is being implemented in El Salvador, Chile, Paraguay, Jamaica, Honduras, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Mexico as of today, in order of launch. Its launch is expected in Colombia, Brazil, Argentina and Belize in the near future.

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