A series of in-depth discussions, in partnership with the Financial Times, exploring how digital commerce opportunities can support small and medium-sized businesses to navigate and thrive in this new normal
The coronavirus pandemic has had a disproportionate effect on small and medium-sized businesses. Consumer spending has dropped in many categories and the mass shift to online retail has made it more important than ever that communities support local commerce. For many SMBs, throughout the region and around the world, digital transformation is now the key to survival as well as growth.
But SMBs are nothing if not agile. Expanding from bricks to clicks can create new revenue channels, more efficient operating models and entirely new cultures. As SMBs become more digitally oriented, they may gain access to new tools and resources in areas like payment technology, customer experience and communications. And when doors do reopen, increased digital agility can make established frontline processes easier, faster and more secure.
In this series of discussion panels in partnership with Financial Times, we are addressing the challenges and opportunities of becoming more online-oriented in these uncertain times. The discussions are focused on the digital tools and resources that can fundamentally change how an SMB connects with its customers, examples of how SMB communities are evolving, and the role that government, industry and society can play in empowering SMBs to succeed.
Additional Reading Resources
- COVID-19 CEMEA Impact Tracker
- How contactless is reinventing the way people pay
- Accelerating the shift to ecommerce
Driving Digital Commerce for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses
A CEMEA outlook
Andrew Torre, Regional President Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa at Visa opens the Digital Dialogues series by exploring the current economic context for SMBs across the region. The discussion looks at the potential for the expansion of digital payments in CEMEA and the role of different stakeholders in supporting SMBs as they become more digitally orientated.
A local outlook for MENA
A Digital Dialogue to discuss the disruption and subsequent transformation of commerce amongst small and medium-sized businesses operating in the Middle East and North Africa as they adopt new digital tools and resources to fundamentally change how they connect with customers. Panellists include Marcello Baricordi, General Manager for Middle East and North Africa, Visa, Ibrahim bin Hamad Al Rashid, Executive Director, Social Development Bank, Saudi Arabia, Barbara Rambousek, Director of Gender & Economic Inclusion, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Natalia Sycheva, Entrepreneurship Head, Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry.