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Boosting SMEs' online presence [ 31-07-2012 ]

FREE TOOL: Google and partners reach out to Malaysian businesses down south

showing the logo for Get Malaysian Business Online

Google Malaysia product marketing manager, Deon Moh Teng Keong (left), and Zeffri Yusof showing the logo for Get Malaysian Business Online. Pix by Zulkarnain Ahmad Tajuddin

  JOHOR BARU: ABOUT 35 participants took part in the recent Get Malaysian Business Online (GMBO) workshop here to learn the finer points of starting up an online business.   The two-hour workshop was organised by Google Malaysia Sdn Bhd.

  The main partners of the event were Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, My Domain Registry, SME Corp and iTrain (M) Sdn Bhd.

  The participants, based mainly in Johor and Malacca, were trained on basic Internet skills that would be applicable to their businesses.   Most were from small businesses and the small-medium enterprises (SMEs) sector who were eager to grow their companies online.

  GMBO works by making it quick and easy for businesses to create an online presence. SMEs that join the programme enjoy a free, easy-to-update website using Google's Business Sitebuilder tool, free ongoing business tips and education, free online advertising and subsidised training.

  Through GMBO, any business can get online -- SMEs without an existing website can get their business online in under 30 minutes. They also have the GMBO support network that extends nationwide.

  The workshop conducted by ITrain Sdn Bhd, focused on GMBO's Business Sitebuilder platform accesible on

  SME business owners were then introduced to a step-by-step guide to setting up a free website, adding content to it, registering a domain name and finally, getting their business online.

  Present was Google Malaysia communications and public affairs head, Zeffri Yusof and iTrain project coordinator, Nurul Izwa Jamil.

  Zeffri said the workshop is designed to help SMEs design their own free website without writing a single line of code.

  "It is also to ensure that they (the participants) understand the basic concept of getting a business online and by the end of it, to get their own site up and running," he said.

  Since its launch last November, the GMBO initiative has helped thousands of Malaysian SMEs with previously no online presence to get their business websites up and running with no strings attached.

  GMBO's goal is to help at least 50,000 Malaysian businesses get online within this year.

  While the 17.5 million Malaysian Internet users regularly search for products and services, only slightly more than 100,000 out of the 700,000 SMEs operating in Malaysia today have an online presence.

  This means they are invisible to two-thirds of the Malaysian population as well as the rest of the global market who are online.

  Through the GMBO initiative, site development and hosting is given free by Google while annual renewals for the domain name are discounted.


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