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Google lends a hand to SMEs [23-11-2011]  
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Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Malaysia can now get an extra helping hand from an Internet giant.

Google Malaysia, along with Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), .my Domain Registry and ITrain, has introduced a programme called "Get Malaysian Business Online (GMBO)" to help SMEs build an online presence.

The programme offers participants a free website, free domain hosting and subsidised training. The first 10,000 sign-ups will get free domain hosting.

Google Malaysia country head Sajith Sivanandan said Google has targeted 50,000 businesses to register within a year.

He is confident of meeting the target as registered SMEs will be given a lots of freebies for the sign-ups. This included a free and easy to update website with free web hosting, a free domain for first 10,000 SMEs that registered or at a discounted fee of RM23, free ongoing business tips and education, free online advertising and listing on Google Maps and RM200 AdWords coupon for all 50,000 sign-ups that create their web presence.

Google will invest about RM10 million in the form of advertising credits.

"We reckon that the barrier of entry is so low. We're making it so simple for SMEs to sign up that we actually don't think that 50,000 are going to be a problem.

"We want to get every single SMEs that is not online be part of this programme," he said.

SMEs may visit to register and set up a website.

Sajith said there are about 600,000 SMEs in Malaysia, but only 100,000 have an online presence.

"Once a business is online, they are connected to the world. We want to help them (SMEs) to be successful by ensuring each business is aware of the free online tools available to them, so that they can start realising the true potential of the Internet," he said.

Meanwhile, ITrain chief executive officer Bikesh Lakhmichand said those who needed training on matters pertaining to the website may opt for training from ITrain at its locations nationwide.


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