Small businesses in South Africa have a new resource at the touch of a WhatsApp icon.
SMMEStart, a chat-based service, aims to provide important information and resources to small-medium business owners.
This service was developed by Praekelt.org with JoziHub in South Africa.
The idea for the chatbot was built off the success of the Health Department COVID-19 alert bot released last year. This bot provided instant information and answers to citizens who were concerned about the pandemic.
In addition, many small business owners have been deeply affected by the pandemic, which led SMMEStart to see a benefit in a WhatsApp based service for those starting up and for those trying to get back on their feet.
From marketing information to legal advice, the service aims to democratise and make these vital resources affordable for businesses which can't pay for expertise in these fields.
How to access this new chatbot
Much like other chatbots it's pretty simple. If you don't have WhatsApp, then you need to download and sign-up.
Once all signed in, simply add the number +27 60 011 0110 and message "hi" this should bring up a response and you can follow the prompts from there.