MICRO businesses are poised to become a major growth sector as it represents 76.5% of businesses in the country, according to SME Corp.
With that in mind, eCommerce marketplace MyBazar Malaysia aims to unlock growth opportunities of the digital economy for local sellers through a pilot programme called Blee.
MyBazar hopes to attract sellers from non-urban areas by integrating social networking in their marketplace, localising user-friendly interface and providing direct off-line merchant engagement.
The programme starts off with 500 selected local merchants selling more than 2,000 products, ranging from foodstuff and handicraft to home decor and fashion.
Blee, which is short for Barangan Luarbiasa Eksklusif eUsahawan, aims to widen the reach and boost the adoption of ecommerce nationwide by targeting micro and rural merchants and entrepreneurs.
This will directly contribute towards growth of local businesses as well as narrow the commercial and income divide between rural and urban Malaysia.
Meanwhile, Malaysian consumers will be able to access a dedicated all-local product shopping portal consisting of high quality local products which are exclusive, unique and hard to find in urban stores or shopping malls.
“We are honoured to be the first platform to promote these exclusive local products and be a part of this national agenda to help entrepreneurs,” said MyBazar chief executive officer Fazil Irwan Som.
“Together with Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) under the eUsahawan programme, MyBazar works to empower our local businesses to grow stronger and bigger.
“At the same time, we are also excited to give Malaysians the opportunity to purchase their favourite kampung delicacies with just a few clicks at their own convenience,” he added.
On the economic front, the initiative intends to propel local micro businesses and grassroots entrepreneurs to the forefront and improve competitiveness by removing their location, trading and technology disadvantage.
Embedded online payment and shipping solutions will enable micro merchants to showcase, sell and deliver their unique products to customers seamlessly across the country.
Under the Blee programme, local entrepreneurs who want to begin their online selling journey will be registered under the eUsahawan digital training programme by MDEC.
To encourage eCommerce adoption, registered Blee sellers will also receive free shipping, full waiver of handling or commission fees until their business has reached a certain level of profitability.
“Our field engagements across the country were true eye-openers,” said MyBazar marketing director Aaliyah Soraya Darus.
“We have experienced first-hand the difference and the boost to local communities this initiative brings.
“It is pure delight to witness the positive impact Blee brings to often overlooked small businesses,” she added.
Entrepreneurs keen on joining the Blee programme can register their business at the www.mybazar.com/blee website.
Consumers can explore and purchase exclusive Blee products by visiting the MyBazar website or by downloading the app.
MyBazar’s long-term goal is to bring authentic local brands and products to the national and international markets, as the marketplace aims to connect cross-border selling and buying activities between countries in South-East Asia, the Middle-East, the Balkans, Turkey, CIS and Africa within the next three years.
“We are aiming to get 1,500 merchants on board by end of 2018 for the Blee programme,” said MDEC corporate affairs division vice-president Mohd Razaleigh Zainal.