Why technology is essential for Small Business Shops. Christmas is coming.

Written by: Poliana Muñoz, Project Manager, Social Innovation&Sustainability Center at IE University. 

Your Christmas gifts are always important. This year, you can make them matter more than ever. Thanks to the support of J.P. Morgan, IE’s Center for Social Innovation & Sustainability supports more than fifty vulnerable small business owners in Madrid as they strive to earn a living by leveraging online channels. You can be part of our beneficiaries’ success. Buy local while buying online.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic started in March, we have been involved in a completely new situation in our lives. We had to adapt to a new lifestyle where technologies and online processes were the most relevant tools to communicate, buy, study or work. This new reality affected our economy the most. Many sectors, such as tourism, stopped their activities; or were overcrowded (health); or had to adapt their activities to the online market. In fact, they were forced to respond to a new world that most could never imagine.

This is the case of the Small Business Shops based in neighbourhoods around Madrid as food shops, artisans, clothes shops, restaurants and services… Most of them closed from March to June completely. They had to reinvent their businesses. Many of them had to start using new technologies from scratch but, they didn’t know even how to begin.

Thanks to the support of J.P. Morgan, IE’s Center for Social Innovation & Sustainability launched in May 2020 the Second Edition of the project “Digital Transformation for Inclusive Business Development”. We run this project in collaboration with the City Council of Madrid and Orange.

During the Second Edition of the project, 70 small business owners are receiving support to develop their e-commerce strategies. We want this support to be consistent with their business model and overall sales strategy. In this sense, we help them to improve their revenues selling through online channels and reaching to people that, otherwise, won’t be able to go to their shops due to the mobility restrictions.

Now, when Christmas is coming, new technologies are essential for them to reach potential clients that might contribute to save these shops from going down. Usually, people buy Christmas gifts while walking around their neighborhoods, going to street markets or by engaging in tourism. This year is completely different. This year our local market (artisans, restaurants, food markets, small shops in general) are going to need our support to reach their goals. Because it doesn’t affect only to the owners, it affects their families and the whole society. A shop that closes is everybody’s loss.

We can help them. Today, more than ever, buy local while buying online.  They need our support, their products are original and different, it is environmentally more sustainable and, the most important thing, they need us. It’s time to help. Your Christmas gifts are always important. This year, you can make them matter more than ever.

 

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