New regional digital academy to support SMEs on digitalization journey

Photo by Helloquence

The Singapore Business Federation (“SBF”) and V3 Fintech Pte Ltd (“V3 Fintech”), the digital financial services unit of Singapore SME V3 Group Limited (“V3”), announced in December 2019 the establishment of Beyond Lab, a regional digital academy focused on supporting SMEs in adopting digital technology to increase operational efficiency and competitiveness.

Ernst & Young Advisory Pte. Ltd. (“EY”) will be appointed to advise on the development of content and curriculum designed to help SMEs and their workforce grow their digital competencies.

Named “Beyond Lab”, the academy will focus on areas such as data analytics, including that to support green solutions, as well as fintech innovations that can help Singapore Small and Medium Enterprises (“SME”) optimize and expand operations locally and in the region

Beyond Lab will also support the digital upskilling of SME owners and workforce to help develop digitally empowered businesses and a digitally skilled workforce. Over time, it intends to become an innovation center in Singapore to pilot and roll out innovative digital technology, supported by the Singapore SMEs network

Mr Ho Meng Kit, CEO of SBF, said, “Our companies, especially SMEs, need to align themselves with how the world has changed. To stay relevant and remain competitive, they need to integrate technology to improve how they operate and deliver value to their customers.”

“Through Beyond Lab, we hope to help SMEs cultivate a digital culture and develop the data analytics and fintech capabilities they need affordably and effectively,” he continued, adding his hopes that Singaporean SMEs will work with Beyond Lab as they scale up operations, in an increasingly digital environment.

Mr Gan Chee Yen, Senior Advisor to V3 Fintech, noted, “SMEs today can harness technologies like the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and e-payments to optimize their operations, enhance profitability, and empower their workforce to do well. Through Beyond Lab, we hope to help SMEs embrace these technologies in an effective and collaborative way. By coming together at Beyond Lab as they embark on the digital journey, SMEs can collectively learn, connect, and adopt relevant digital initiatives that boost their competencies and competitiveness.”

He said that in their advisory role, Ernst and Young will bring their “experience of helping companies embrace digitalization to transform themselves and meet the challenges of the digital future, with regard to its credentials in the FinTech arena, including digital bank customers in South Africa and South Korea.”

Beyond Lab aims to start its first program in early 2020.