Empowering small businesses in the digital age
Rajiv Garodia, global head of government solutions for Visa, delved into the critical role of small businesses in the modern economy, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a GZERO livestream event presented by Visa, Garodia says the pandemic exposed vulnerabilities of small and medium sized businesses including the lack of digital skills among many small business owners. As consumer behavior shifted towards digital channels, small businesses found themselves unable to keep pace. The ability to collect payments became increasingly reliant on digital transactions and those unable to offer digital payment options risked exclusion from the broader economy.
To address this issue, Rajiv emphasized the importance of collaborative efforts between the private and public sectors. He says governments and businesses must work together to equip small businesses with essential digital tools, from fostering digital literacy to providing necessary technology solutions, such as creating digital storefronts, enabling digital payment acceptance, and utilizing digital tools for accounting and inventory management.
Technology plays a pivotal role in leveling the playing field for small businesses. Rajiv shared an ambitious initiative aimed at digitally empowering 50 million small businesses by 2023. The innovation here lies in simplifying access to digital payment infrastructure by enabling smartphones to accept payments, a transformational leap towards digital inclusion for small business owners.
To hear more about the challenges and opportunities that nation-states face when it comes to digitization, and how it could shape a more inclusive and resilient future, watch the full livestream conversation: