Financing is one of the biggest challenges limiting the success of SMBs today. U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) consistently reports that well over 50 percent of small businesses fail within their first five years due to lack of capital. Since this segment is responsible for nearly 65 percent of global GDP, representing more than 90 percent of all businesses and employing more than 90 percent of the world's workforce, SMBs play a critical role in a global economic recovery.
This news addresses the urgent need for capital by providing the right foundation and resources to support SMBs in this economy. IBM's commitment of $1 billion in financing for SMBs is designed to eliminate many of the cost barriers they face to grow their business. IBM will offer simple, flexible lease and loan packages, some starting at as low as 0 percent for 12 months with no money down, allowing them to immediately acquire the IBM technology and services they need to begin to transform their businesses, while managing their cash flow more effectively.
This financing will be made available to SMB clients through IBM Business Partners who can benefit from enhanced on-line financing tools to generate price proposals and get fast approvals for credit applications for SMB clients, all available by a simple click of the mouse.
IBM is also launching a comprehensive set of solutions, which include workload optimized systems combining hardware and software and services offerings focused on technologies, such as Cloud, analytics, collaboration and security, specifically designed to address SMBs key needs. IBM aims to help this segment by making these advanced technologies, once reserved for larger enterprises with large budgets, available to SMBs through IBM Business Partners at an affordable price. These new offerings also introduce technologies from IBM's recent cloud, analytics and security acquisitions such as Cast Iron, BigFix, SPSS, Netezza and Cognos.
"Reaching people on the go is core to our business", stated SkyMall COO, Jay Scannell. "The opportunity lies behind the ability to tie on-line buying to off-line activity. This will drive expansion and innovation in the way we conduct commerce and will require the continued investment and advance technologies to keep pace. As a long-time IBM customer, we have used analytics to make key decisions about our business. Today's news demonstrates IBM's commitment to support and strengthen SMBs and we are excited to see the advancements this will drive in the retail industry."
Russell's Convenience, with 24 stores in Colorado, Hawaii and California, understood first hand that it needed to operate as one organisation to better respond to changing consumer demands. Today, the retailer is using IBM's collaboration Cloud to enable more transparent communications between stores to conduct day-to-day sales, marketing activities and meetings. The ability to collaborate both internally and externally in a security-rich environment is helping Russell's Convenience become more of a social business by leveraging the skills and knowledge of its entire employee base. As more and more SMBs, such as Russell's Convenience, turn to cloud-based services, today's news will help many more jump start their businesses to more effectively identify new customers, resulting in more sales of their products and services.
"We are currently at the forefront of an entrepreneurial renaissance that is sweeping the globe", stated Mike Grandinetti, managing director at Southboro Capital. "Affordable and powerful technology has gone mainstream. It has closed the gap between big corporations and small businesses, enabling entrepreneurs and small to mid-sized businesses to radically change the way that we think about and approach our work. While some may find it surprising that big company like IBM is involved, they have long been a powerful ally to entrepreneurs around the world, helping small business grow and deliver the next wave of technology innovation."
In addition to software, services and financing, IBM offers a variety of ways for entrepreneurs to grow their businesses with no-charge access to advanced technologies, leading business and technology experts and training. Through its Global Entrepreneur Programme and network of 40 global Innovation Centers, IBM helps businesses solve tough challenges, enter new markets and access the training and support needed to get their products to market faster.