Tecnológico de Monterrey
(Photo: Tecnológico de Monterrey)

Is your small or medium-sized business having problems with operating during the Covid-19 crisis? This program may be the solution.

ApoyandoTec, consisting of the Business School, the Graduate School of Business Administration and Leadership (EGADE), and the organization Enlace+, is providing free mentoring to business owners who have been affected by the pandemic.

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Business owners (students, graduates, or parents connected with Tecnológico de Monterrey) can register on the website apoyandotec.incmty.com, as well as those teachers and specialists who want to be mentors for those who are experiencing problems due to the health emergency.

To date, support has been provided to 42 companies to answer queries such as the following. What suppliers can I have now? How do I guarantee the continuity of my production chain? What steps should I take to convince my customers to continue purchasing?

ApoyandoTec has capacity to provide assistance to 1,000 companies per week, so it is still open to receive more registrations.

Uber for consultancy

In an interview with Tec Review, María Elena Vázquez Lira, Dean of the Business School for the Western Region, explains that the idea began at the same time as the emergency.

“We imagined a digital platform… like an Uber for consultancy, where companies could register to receive recommendations. The School has the Institute as an arm for providing support to this market segment. We began to realize that there’s a group of companies which don’t have the resources to hire consultants. The questions they were asking us were more or less the same: what steps to take in these first months of the emergency.”

The Tec de Monterrey community can have two free sessions with experts. In this sessions they can address 10 specific topics, e.g. supply chain, customers and market, international markets, cash flow, human capital, leveraging, operations, productivity, e-commerce, digital transformation, innovation/model.

“Companies receive two consultancy sessions. Each company can do this once. To date, we’ve attended 42 companies. We’ve just started the national phase and we’re going to grow the recruitment side,” says María Elena Vázquez.

She adds that the goal is to reach more business owners to support them in continuing operations during and after the health emergency.

“We want to reach as many as possible. We have an installed capacity of 1,000 consultancy hours per week. That would give us the ability to attend 1,000 companies per week, with 192 mentors in total,” she says.

According to statistics compiled by ApoyandoTec, most companies are from the service sector, and the main problem reported is cash flow during these months.

 

Virtual sessions to solve real problems

 

The aim of the project is that undergraduate and postgraduate business professors from the Tec, mentors from Enlace+,  Business School and EGADE Business School board members, and outstanding Tec graduates provide their time and knowledge to business owners through virtual sessions.

Registration on the website is free, for both mentors and business owners, and sessions are also provided free of charge.

In 2019, the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI) presented the results of the National Survey on Productivity and Competitiveness for micro, small, and medium-sized businesses (ENAPROCE).

This showed that there were 4.1 million business owners in this category, which were classified into the manufacturing, retail, and private service sectors.

 

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