Grab, Southeast Asia’s superapp, announced Thursday two new initiatives to drive inclusive growth in Southeast Asia at the official opening of its Headquarters @ Singapore.

The new initiatives include a $1 million GrabScholar Program to disburse scholarships and bursaries to students across Southeast Asia, and a new GrabMerchant Centre to help small businesses grow online, Grab said in a statement.

“As we celebrate Grab’s 10th anniversary this year, we hope that our announcements today will help small businesses and our future workforce upskill and maximise their opportunities, even in this challenging macro environment,

“Providing access to digital tools can be a powerful way to ensure all Southeast Asians can equally participate in – and benefit from – the rising digital economy, the same way 10 years ago when our driver-partners learned how to use their smartphones to earn incomes,” said Anthony Tan, Group Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Grab.

Grab has committed an annual $1 million from the GrabForGood Fund towards the GrabScholar Program, which will provide university scholarships and educational bursaries across all countries Grab operates in Southeast Asia.

The program plans to award over 2,000 scholarships and bursaries annually. It will cover tuition and study-related expenses for underprivileged children to attend primary, secondary or vocational schools as well as universities. Internship opportunities will also be offered to tertiary students to develop their professional aptitude and prepare them for full-time roles when they graduate.

GrabScholar was launched in Indonesia last month in partnership with Yayasan Benih Baik Indonesia. This is in addition to existing scholarship and bursary initiatives that are offered to the children of Grab’s driver-, delivery- and merchant-partners in Singapore and Thailand.

The initiative has helped to open access to quality education and transform lives locally. The new region wide GrabScholar Program is an expanded effort to support the broader communities across Southeast Asia.

Grab has also been helping small businesses come online in the past two years. As Southeast Asia leaves behind the worst of Covid-19 lockdowns and drives towards recovery, Grab opined that these small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have also stabilised their delivery business’ operations and are now ready to scale.

To facilitate this, Grab will soon launch its first-ever GrabMerchant Centre to provide 1-on-1 business consultation services for our SME merchant-partners. It will be located at Grab HQ @ Singapore.

The centre is a one-stop hub dedicated to helping small businesses optimise their online presence, maximise GrabFood, GrabMart, GrabFin and GrabAds services for their businesses, and learn to use digital tools to grow.

GrabMerchant centre provides a suite of services including 1-on-1 business consultation with Grab Account Managers. Merchant-partners can tap on Grab’s Southeast Asia network, access to data insights and multi-vertical ecosystem. Account managers will provide dedicated consultations to advise on long-term growth plans and provide actionable business insights to help merchant-partners grow to the next level.

The center also prioritizes operational assistance in which merchants are able to subscribe to “Merchant Concierge Service”, a prioritised hotline to get direct assistance to solve any operational issues. This ensures their delivery business runs smoothly and reduces downtime.

The center also provides workshops and networking in which the GrabMerchant center will regularly organize upskilling workshops to help merchant-partners stay abreast of the latest industry trends and developments.

These initiatives will also serve as networking sessions to facilitate business connections and a small business community for collective learning. Grab launched its first-ever GrabMerchant Open House on August 5.

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