The spread of COVID-19 has led to a global health and economic crisis, and caused unprecedented changes to the way consumers and businesses interact on a daily basis. To combat the pandemic, many governments have imposed lockdown measures that have forced businesses to suspend physical operations and consumers to stay home. In the presence of these social distancing restrictions the world over, digital tools, including social media and online messaging apps, have enabled consumers to engage and communicate with businesses.
Small and Medium-sized Businesses (SMBs) have faced significant challenges in 2020. Survey reports covering 4,300 SMBs around 17 countries have illustrated how SMBs have adapted to the new challenges, with a particular focus on the new growing role of digital tools in interacting with their customers. Despite the developments, a lack of digital knowledge is seen as a key ongoing barrier for SMBs. Helping businesses to overcome these barriers and promote the use of digital tools will require collaboration between policymakers, digital tool providers and the businesses themselves.
This interactive virtual session can help demonstrate and learn how small and medium-sized businesses are adopting new digital tools for growth. The session will be followed by the launch of “Digital Tools in Crisis and Recovery – Consumer & SMB Reports” by Deloitte, in partnership with Facebook.
The opening remarks for the session will be by Hon. Shehan Semasinghe, State Minister of Samurdhi, Household Economy, Micro Finance, Self-Employment, Business Development, followed by a panel discussion with Ms. Helani Galpaya,Chief Executive Officer, LIRNEasia; Mr. Jayantha De Silva,Chairman ICTA; and Mr. Yasas Vishuddhi Abeywickrama, Policy Programs Manager, Facebook. The session will be moderated by Mr. Dhananath Fernando, Chief Operating Officer, Advocata Institute.The webinar will commence at 10:30 am on Wednesday, November 11, 2020. To register, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.