Anthony Ong, Head of Inside Sales, with Rahul Mallan, Business Program Manager & Singapore Community Impact Lead at the Small Business Marketplace held at PayPal Singapore’s Suntec Office.
In celebration of PayPal’s Small Business Month in May, the Singapore Community Impact team held its inaugural Small Business Marketplace at PayPal’s Suntec office. This marketplace not only gave a platform for small businesses and social enterprises an opportunity to feature their products but also provided a chance for them to upskill from subject matter experts at PayPal.
This initiative is part of a month-long celebration that PayPal dedicates globally to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), born out of a longstanding recognition of their tremendous contributions to the global economy. They also drive innovation, competition, and diversity. As a partner to more than 35 million businesses globally, the vast majority of which are small businesses, PayPal is committed to supporting entrepreneurs navigate each stage of their journey. Small businesses create jobs, build communities, and enable economic opportunity in every market. For more than 20 years, PayPal has supported small businesses across the globe with access to capital, innovative products, and financial services to help them achieve their ambitions. In Singapore, two-thirds of the workforce is employed by SMBs, which contribute nearly half of the nation’s GDP.
Strengthening Small Businesses
The Singapore Community Impact team organized the Small Business Marketplace to empower small businesses in Singapore to receive access to pro bono technical services, mentorship, and a platform to share their story and products.
PayPal employees contributed their time, skills and resources to help entrepreneurs start, sustain and scale their business. By combining their expertise, passions and collaborating with local nonprofits, the PayPal Community Impact team brings about positive social and environmental impact through volunteering, employee participatory grantmaking, and fundraising. In 2022, PayPal’s global employee community contributed nearly 100,000 volunteer hours, almost half of which were skills-based.
Recognized as Champions of Good by the Company of Good, the Community Impact team in Singapore has been acknowledged for expanding economic opportunity and promoting the financial resilience of individuals and businesses in Singapore.
The key organizers of the event, Business Program Manager & Singapore Community Impact Lead Rahul Mallan and Head of Inside Sales in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia Anthony Ong weighed in on their key takeaways from the day.
What was the inspiration for a Small Business Marketplace?
Rahul Mallan: Small businesses are so important to PayPal, and this initiative is such a great opportunity for us to give back. Due to strict regulations during the pandemic, we were unable to host in-person events in our Singapore office, and we wanted to seize the opportunity to give a platform to these small businesses while creating a buzz in our office that would simultaneously engage our employees. Bringing our merchants’ product showcase into the office also meant employees were motivated to shop directly with them, hear about their products and meet founders of the businesses.
Anthony Ong: This is the first year PayPal organized a marketplace in the PayPal office, so this celebration of local businesses this year is a particularly significant feat. We are encouraged by the support given to the Marketplace by PayPal employees. The office was buzzing with conversations and sales between the businesses and employees.
Rahul Mallan: With all that small businesses contribute to our communities and economies, it’s important that we, in turn, support them by helping them upskill and grow while keeping them and their customers protected.
We provided these inspiring businesses an opportunity to create further impact, starting from within the office grounds itself. The Small Business Marketplace was designed to equip business owners with the tools they needed to succeed in three ways:
How did the Marketplace support and showcase SMBs?
Anthony Ong: The event featured nearly 20 small businesses and social enterprises, including fitness business like ArmourUP.
It was also an event where some online merchants had the chance to showcase their products in a physical setting. We are hoping with this exposure, merchants will be able to test and pilot some products before they launch them with a wider audience.
Vendors such as Singapore-made watch maker Boldr Watch and pet food-maker Buddybites were able to showcase their products in person, expanding their reach beyond online platforms.
Rahul Mallan: In addition to that, we organized multiple workshops and pro-bono business clinics providing consultation to the small business owners that attended the Marketplace event. Our subject matter experts were also available on site for free consultation services to address any specific concerns or challenges faced by the small business owners.
Anthony Ong: We collaborated with the Singapore Centre for Social Enterprise (raiSE) to identify local organizations that could benefit from PayPal's expertise. Through this collaboration, our aim was to support and shine a spotlight on inspiring small business owners, including social enterprises, that contribute to the communities in which PayPal operates.
Seven social enterprises were part of the event, offering a range of products such as healthy snacks, sustainable coffee, and preschool consulting services. Pastries from 16 Baker Street, coffee and juice from Wake The Crew, and juices from Juice Stories, a social enterprise employing older people and individuals with special needs, were among the offerings at the event.
How did the event support inspiring merchants and SMBs?
Rahul Mallan: With the participation of PayPal employees, we celebrated small businesses, entrepreneurs, and social enterprises with a passionate cause. By continuing to support small businesses in their growth journey, PayPal can be a valuable partner not only in ensuring their business success, but also amplifying the social causes they support. We hope through the Marketplace, our merchant partners also experienced the collective support from PayPal employees.
 The Straits Times, 2021: Actionable agenda to enable SMEs remain viable: Ease cash flow, empower change