Small and medium enterprises in the digital transformation: How DTCs in Mexico and Vietnam are strengthening digital and sustainable entrepreneurship

© Alena Darmel / Pexels

The future competitiveness of economies will be increasingly measured by the adaptability of companies to digitalization and in their commitment to create digital solutions for sustainable development. This poses a considerable challenge for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurs across BMZ partner countries. The Digital Transformation Centers (DTCs) with their goal to strengthen digital ecosystems, support SMEs in their journey to digitalization with a broad range of activities. Capacity building and training-of-trainers or multipliers are key puzzle pieces for sustainable growth and can have long lasting impact.

The Digital Transformation Center (DTC) Mexico focuses on science, technology and innovation for sustainable and digital economic development. Together with the Mexican-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CAMEXA), the DTC organised a capacity building programme on digital skills for digital and sustainable transformation for SMEs in 13 territories in Mexico. 1300 employees of SMEs participated in the capacity building from different regions in Mexico. For those who could not attend a training in person, the DTC Mexico launched a sustainable digital transformation course on atingi focusing on SMEs. Finally, the DTC Mexico gives support and capacity building to Entrepreneur Support Organizations (ESOs) to foster digital and sustainable entrepreneurship in Mexico.

More than 100 ESOs participated in workshops organised by the DTC Mexico together with the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE). The workshops focused on supporting digital and sustainable entrepreneurship in Mexico, through discussions around concepts such as Twin Transition and climate action of digital enterprises. As a result, ANDE together with the DTC Mexico elaborated a Guide for ESOs and entrepreneurs to support their development to create digital and sustainable entrepreneurships that have a twin transition imprint in their conceptualization. Both through the Entrepreneur Support Organizations (ESOs) as well as the guide, SMEs across Mexico can benefit from the learnings of the workshops.

On the other side of the globe, the DTC Vietnam has also designed training programmes around digital transformation. In the pursuit of enhancing the digital landscape for Vietnamese businesses, the Digital Transformation Center Vietnam, in collaboration with the Vietnamese Agency for Enterprise Development, has initiated a comprehensive series of capacity-building activities for local digital transformation experts. From February to July 2023, digital experts from local DX consulting companies, universities, and relevant governmental agencies in Vietnam actively participated in diverse activities alongside international experts from Germany, brought in by GIZ. These activities ranged from awareness workshops to intensive training-of-trainers programmes.

Eight outstanding local experts identified during these initiatives were honoured as “champion trainers” and provided the opportunity to co-design and co-lead a digital transformation training programme tailored for small and medium enterprises. Through these activities, DTC Vietnam aims to enhance the capabilities of local experts, enabling them to better support Vietnamese businesses in their digital transformation journey.

Left: Dr. Tran Ha Uyen Thi, female champion trainer of 2023, © DTC Vietnam

Uncover further details about these impactful activities and their transformative effects through the compelling story of Dr. Tran Ha Uyen Thi, the sole female champion trainer of 2023.