As small businesses seek to recover from the impact of the pandemic and adjust to the rising demands for products and services to be offered in the digital environment, Next Step Digital Solutions (NSDS) remains committed to getting micro and small businesses online and helping them to continue their business operations. This year, small businesses have the chance to win a full digital transformation, including a social media makeover.
Digitising small businesses has become crucial, given the rapid adoption of ecommerce in Jamaica.
Mohan Beckford, chief vision officer of NSDS, posits that “small businesses need digitisation to survive, especially now”.
He further states that, “after years of working with small businesses and studying how best to deliver the right solutions for their businesses, I realised that, not only are they challenged with optimising the use of the digital environment to benefit their operations but they struggle with digital literacy in a number of instances”.
DIGITAL EQUITY, INCLUSIVITY SOUGHT THROUGH COMPETITION
Underscoring that digitisation can bring enormous benefits to small businesses, NSDS seeks to bring increased digital equity and inclusivity to local business operators through its annual Small Business Transformation Competition.
“For the past three years, we have been using the Small Business Transformation Competition as a response to the gap I recognised. Businesses need the support of companies that know the space to take full advantage of the global marketplace. So, this year, we increased the prize package to ensure a business will get a full transformation which also includes a website and social media makeover,” explains Beckford.
To enter, small businesses must apply through the NSDS website at trynextstep.com, complete the application form and submit a video detailing why their business needs this opportunity.
“This is over $800,000 in value being offered to small businesses. We encourage all entrepreneurs to apply so that we can assist them to optimize the digital space for the growth of their business. The application portal closes on September 10, 2022 and it is our hope that more companies will take advantage of this initiative,” states the digital entrepreneur.
In addition to the competition, NSDS empowers small businesses to thrive in the digital marketplace though their initiatives – Jamaica Small Business Group and the Next Step Business Club, which are community-based approaches. These communities boast a combined database of over 50,000 local companies which benefit from Mohan’s expertise and business offerings. They also created a gateway to Jamaican businesses through an online marketplace and a small business directory where small businesses can list online free of cost.
The competition is an annual event for NSDS and the company hopes to be able to offer more prizes for the next staging.
“It is our hope that we will be able to support more businesses in the coming years and that we will have more success stories coming out of initiatives like this, because small businesses need it,” shares Beckford.