Grab, Southeast Asia’s leading ride-hailing app, on Tuesday announced its ‘Grab for Good’ initiative, which aims to help Southeast Asians master the skills they need to thrive in the digital economy.
Grab for Good – a partnership of the ride-hailing firm with governments in the region as well as with members of the private and the non-profit sectors – aims to bring digital literacy and greater inclusion to 3 million Southeast Asians by 2025, according to the report ‘Social Impact 2018-2019’.
The programme also seeks to empower micro-entrepreneurs and small businesses by helping them digitalise workflows and processes. The final goal is to help 5 million firms adapt to the digital age.
Through partnerships with educational institutions, non-profits and leading technology companies, Grab for Good will also train at least 20,000 students on tech-related skills.
The Singapore-based firm also unveiled a partnership with Microsoft dubbed ‘Tech for Good’. It seeks to bridge the tech skills gap in Southeast Asia with programmes that target Grab’s driver-partners and their families.
The two initiatives are the start of a multi-year plan to equip individuals and small businesses with the necessary technical skills and tools to thrive in the digital economy.
Speaking at the Grab for Good Conference in Jakarta, Indonesia, Anthony Tan, group CEO and co-founder of Grab, highlighted the company’s responsibility to the communities where it operates.
“As Southeast Asia grows from strength to strength, and Grab from milestone to milestone, we have an ever-growing responsibility to serve the communities that drive our economy,” Mr Tan said.
“We want to make sure the rising tide of the digital economy, lifts all boats, not just some.
“We want to ensure the knowledge of digital skills and technology know-how is not limited to those who go to good schools or to those with the means, and we want to make sure that nobody living in today’s hyper-connected world feels alone and unable to contribute because of a disability,” he added.
According to the Social Impact Report 2018-2019, Grab estimates that it has contributed $5.8 billion to Southeast Asia’s economy from March 2018 to March 2019 through driver, delivery, merchant and agent incomes and sales generated through its platform and Grab unit Kudo.
There are about nine million micro-entrepreneurs on Grab’s platform, according to the report. That means one in 70 Southeast Asians has earned an income through Grab.
Grab operates in 8 countries, including Cambodia, and 339 cities, employing thousands of people.
The company also recently rolled out ‘Break the Silence’, a regional initiative to create more opportunities for the deaf and hearing impaired.