According to Forbes, about 69% of 1,500 Brazilian small businesses “use the Internet to go about their everyday tasks, the three main channels being WhatsApp, email and Facebook. Brazilian Micro and Small Business Support Service (SEBRAE) confirms the pervasiveness of WhatsApp, stating that 72 percent of local SMEs use it as their main online channel.”  WhatsApp is so popular in the country that Renato Meirelles, president at Instituto Locomotiva, told delegates at a Facebook event that “WhatsApp is the new CRM in Brazil”.

Despite the use of the application, many businesses struggle to utilize technology.  If a company can use it appropriately, “small businesses can boost their income by as much as 20 percent, according to the research on the state of digital adoption among these ventures carried out by research firm Instituto Locomotiva on behalf of Facebook.”

The Brazilian government is looking to increase technology usage and help small businesses grow their revenue by promoting digital inclusion for smaller firms.
The secretary of innovation and technology at the São Paulo City Hall, Daniel Annenberg, mentioned examples of current initiatives led by the city administration such as the intended expansion of public Wi-Fi spots into the suburbs and an online company registration scheme that reduced the timescales to open new businesses from 100 to 7 days.