Start Online by BT Mic is an eCommerce accelerator, which aims to take small businesses offline and help them open their online store. Although there are probably similar programs, such as accelerators, it is very unlikely that there is such an integrated program, that is, carried from head to tail. BT has chosen not to offer entrepreneurs a turnkey solution, but kept a close eye on them throughout the project, so that they could learn to manage their online store in the long run, meaning that the goal was to have at the end of the program 100% autonomous entrepreneurs. Small entrepreneurs want to enter the online environment, but they need a lot of support to do this, so through this program, BT tried to be with them from the beginning of the trip until the end of it.
“We, BT Mic, are a company specialized in financing. That’s what we do, that’s what we do best. We finance small businesses at the beginning of the road. What does this mean? It means intervening where it is most needed. When is there a greater need than when you are in the beginning? It took us a long time to understand that businesses need more than just financing. All the more so during the pandemic. And during the pandemic, we tried to have initiatives in the area more than funding. One of them is our marketing campaign “Buy from a small business”. We used all the resources we had at our disposal, to urge everyone around us to buy from small businesses” said Marian Ene, Deputy General Manager, BT Mic.
The 30 entrepreneurs were selected from the BT clients, because BT Mic has an extremely personalized approach in the financing area, an approach that requires detailed knowledge of the clients, therefore the clients had to be identified clients that have development potential in the online area. From the total number of participants who accumulated know-how in areas such as the current situation of the online market in Romania, customer service, and digital marketing, 10 entrepreneurs were selected who migrated in the practical part. After a series of one-to-one discussions and technical workshops, ten online stores were chosen: Office Vision, ABM Kids, Caramel Gold, Stefara Decor, Coffee Roasters Season, Himera Vet, Isabela Teodor, Miclean Zootehnia, Wowzaaa Treats, and Kosmo Line Spa.
Strategic partners programs that provided know-how and services necessary for the transition to online were: MTH Digital, GoMag, TRUSTED, Hosterion, GPeC, and EFSE. Even though the online shops were launched in July, the program continues, and BT Mic stays with entrepreneurs for the next three months to provide support, guidance, and support.
“The most important lesson is that small entrepreneurs want to go online, but it seems to them a field or a field difficult to access. They need a lot of support and we need to be by their side throughout the process. If we start over, we will probably start over, this is an important lesson we have learned, not to offer turnkey solutions, but to keep them with you throughout the process to understand and become autonomous later ” said Marian Ene, Deputy General Manager, BT Mic.
Source: Bank’s press release from August 30, 2021