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Alibaba ‘Project Sprout Up’ to aid Bangladeshi SMEs to become global

Alibaba.com, a leading platform for global business-to-business (B2B) trade, launched a landmark initiative ‘Project Sprout Up’ to help Bangladesh businesses go online and go global on 18 august 2020, says a press release.

According to Alibaba, the roll-out of the project will aid current and potential Alibaba.com users in Bangladesh with improved access to B2B trade opportunities accessible in the massive global market.

Alibaba-Sprout-Up-aid-Bangladeshi-SME-become-global
Figure: Alibaba.com, launched a landmark initiative ‘Project Sprout Up’ to help Bangladesh businesses go online and go global.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will be among the first recipients outside Greater China of this program, which is part of the broader 2020 Spring Thunder initiative by Alibaba Group to help SMEs survive and thrive via digitization. Bangladeshi SMEs will get assistance in three main areas –

  1. Faster onboarding onto the Alibaba.com platform for establishing a global reach
  2. Access to solutions designed to accelerate business growth
  3. Tailor-made training programs to help SMEs deepen their online capabilities

The platform hosts more than 20 million active buyers from over 190 countries and regions, with an average of 300,000 queries made daily for goods ranging from raw materials to finished products in more than 30 major categories.

Over 90,000 products from Singapore-based businesses are currently listed on the platform, including items in top key local industries like food & beverage, machinery and home & garden.   The initiative will aid SMEs in three main areas – faster onboarding onto the Alibaba.com platform for establishing a global reach, access to solutions designed to accelerate business growth, and tailored services to help SMEs deepen their online trade capabilities.

Zhang Kuo, General Manager of Alibaba.com, said the project is designed to aid SMEs hit by ongoing disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. As offline business operations continue to be obstructed, Zhang said it has become vital for B2B companies to consider using e-commerce to reach international customers, intensify production and diversify income areas.

“Unlike retailers who have adopted e-commerce more instinctively in the past few years, most B2B businesses are still to understand the potential of this space,” Zhang added.

As part of Project Sprout Up, Alibaba.com is also offering an array of AI-backed digital tools for sellers to unlock global business opportunities.

For freshly registered users, the platform will allow more marketing and promotional resources to help increase exposure. Supplier members at all stages of growth can further target and advertise to new customers using Alibaba.com’s smart keyword advertising tool.

Furthermore, the platform will use AI algorithms to accurately match suppliers with inquiries to help businesses rapidly expand their customer base.

To assist merchants, stay prepared for shifting trends in global trade, Alibaba.com is working with its local channel partners to provide free seller support across different international markets.

These comprise hands-on assistance to help business owners set up their accounts and product listings; webinars to facilitate knowledge-sharing among the local seller community; as well as expert talks on online buyer behavior, business negotiations and marketing.

“In these uncertain times, we hope to help more SMEs move from recovery to tangible, sustained growth by looking at other pockets of demand elsewhere in the world,” said Zhang.

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