Facebook and MDEC help businesses navigate this Ramadan

This year many Muslim Malaysians will be observing Ramadan differently as large public events, such as Ramadan Bazaars, are still not permitted to open although many businesses have started resuming operations under the conditional movement control order (CMCO).

As Ramadan is one of the most important time of the year, businesses are finding new ways to continue keeping the traditions and spirit alive, bringing the experience online to Facebook, enabling them to stay connected and celebrate the Ramadan season with their customers in true #kitajagakita spirit.

Country Director of Facebook Malaysia, Nicole Tan said they saw more than 2 million people in Malaysia are members of over 2,000 Malaysia centric Facebook groups focused on Ramadan Bazaar who are pivoting to sustain their income generation, while keeping the Ramadan spirits alive in this unprecedented time.

“This is where we can play our part by sharing best practices so they can continue to run their Ramadan businesses online effectively, provide an avenue for people to still come together and get their favorite and popular items in preparation for Ramadan and Raya.”

Facebook Business is collaborating with local businesses in hosting a week long Facebook Live event, themed  Jaga Jarak, Tetap Meriah dengan Digital Beli Belah, which will be hosted on Facebook for Business Page, and will run from 13th May – 17th May 2020 from 4PM to 7.00PM daily.

“We hope this will serve as an exemplary moment for businesses to make reference and learn from in keeping the festivity spirit and business up online, while maintaining social distancing,” added Tan.

Viewers can also expect to hear sharing on free business resources available that they can adapt to navigate businesses during Covid-19.

Small home business owners who traditionally participate in Ramadan markets across the nation have been greatly impacted by the pandemic as well.

In efforts to scale necessary support to these businesses, Facebook Malaysia partners with the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), to host 20 training sessions to equip these businesses with the necessary digital skills and knowledge to connect and take their businesses online.

In a statement, Surina Shukri, CEO of MDEC, said they prioritise and support initiatives which impart digital entrepreneurship knowledge and skills amongst SMBs and micro-entrepreneurs in Malaysia.

“By working with global industry partners like Facebook, through its various digital upskilling programmes, we hope to continue our efforts in accelerating the nation’s digital transformation agenda,” she said, adding that it is also very much in line with the on-going week-long E-Dagang Expo (eDX) that MDEC has put together for this week.

“The goal is to enable more Malaysian entrepreneurs to thrive in the digital landscape amid these difficult times,” Surina added.

Daging Salai Cik Yah, a premium ready-to-eat smoked meat business is one of the many examples of businesses that have capitalised their Facebook and Instagram pages to stay engaged with customers this Ramadan.

As one of the participants of KBS-MDEC’s eUsahawan Young Heroes Programme, founder Azwani binti Che Zainuldin shared that Facebook’s Audience Insights has helped her identify and tailor ads and content for the right audiences.

The programme in partnership with Facebook empowers SMEs with digital entrepreneurship skills and capabilities. “I am very thankful for social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. I have managed to build a trusted brand that has seen an increase of 300 percent in sales since the MCO was put in place. I am able to continue connecting with a ready audience and engage with them effectively”.

With Malaysians staying home and cooking more often this Ramadan, Azwani uses her Instagram to share simple daging salai recipes.

“People are using our services to stay connected to one another even when they cannot physically be together and we will continue to update our free e-learning courses and virtual training programs and materials to reflect the current state of the world, Tan added.

“While we’re not perfect and will continue to evolve, we’re sharing what we’ve learned so far, especially about what it means to be resilient in times of stress and fear, and how important it is for people to take care of themselves – in addition to talking about productivity and impact.”

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