Educating SMEs on
Adopting e-Signatures & Executing e-Contracts
in International B2B Trade Transactions
Your generous contribution will help us promote:
Awareness of signing B2B (business-to-business) e-Contracts in different countries globally
Secure sourcing of products from SMEs (Small & Medium Enterprises) in developing countries
A green work environment for international traders
Efficient, paperless supply chains worldwide, among other benefits
All proceeds go to fund this pro bono project.
Period of implementation: Jan. 15 to Dec. 31, 2016
Amount of Funds in Need: 45,000 USD*
*(Total estimated cost: 75,000 USD; 40% funded by LexEcon Consulting Group)
Fundraising duration: 35 Days (from 26 Nov to 31 Dec 2015)
Beneficiaries: Small & Medium scale Enterprises (SMEs) particularly in developing countries who have decided to adopt electronic & digital signatures in executing cross-border trade contracts and for signing other business documents.
Territories: Developing countries in the Asia-Pacific, EMEA, and LatAm regions, or any other country on request.
What is LexEcon eSME Initiative?
In a few surveys conducted during 2010 - 2015 on a group of Small & Medium scale Enterprises (SMEs) selected from several developing countries in the Asia Pacific, Africa, and Latin American regions, we have found that except for the standard e-contracts for international sale of goods signed in B2B online stores or e-marketplace transactions, most (i. e. > 95%) of the non-standard (bespoke) trade contracts are signed manually on paper, and exchanged between the parties by fax or as scanned attachments to email.
With the objective of solving the security issues of this paper-based contract signing process in cross-border B2B trade transactions, LexEcon eSME Initiative educates SMEs particularly in developing countries to securely execute e-contracts, e-agreements or any other trade-related documents in different jurisdictions and connect globally with their existing and prospective trading partners.
At a time when governments and the businesses are increasingly looking for ways to move towards paperless supply chains, the SMEs' ability to execute e-contract and e-sign trade documents securely in different jurisdictions globally would help them gain a multitude of efficiency, security and environmental benefits, including:
> Secure access to new markets, enhanced trade connections & market share
> Better contractual and regulatory compliance
> Elimination or reduction of costs associated with paper-based transactions (i.e. travelling expenses, time, paper wastage, records management costs, postage or overnight courier charges)
> Improved supplier-customer relationships, and
> Enhanced operational efficiency & profitability
Businesses (of any size) in any country will also benefit from being able to securely source materials and products from their SME trading partners in developing countries (i.e. by executing legally binding e-contracts).
Your contribution will help us provide:
Free informational guide to executing international trade contracts in the B2B (business-to-business) space. Learning materials will explain, for example, the appropriate use of electronic signatures and certificate-based advanced digital signatures, contracting in the cloud, contract lifecycle management, etc.
Free e-contract templates to help carry out nternational B2B trade transactions. These templates are provided in MS Word and PDF formats with fillable form fields and digital signature spaces (in PDF forms).
Free consultations with a global network of legal & technology consultants.
Method of service delivery & outreach: Both online and offline, through our partner network including the International Network for SMEs, and several selected national SME associations
Past Experience: LexEcon eSME Initiative was launched in 2010. In a competition conducted by the ICT Agency of the government of Sri Lanka, LexEcon eSME Initiative was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation in 2011. To date, this project is being implemented with funding from LexEcon Consulting Group, and services are provided to a limited number of SMEs from developing countries mainly in the Asia-Pacific region.
Considering the increasing number of requests from prospective beneficiaries, and the fact that an increasing number of developing countries have been passing laws on e-commerce and e-signatures, we have decided to reach out to a broader community of SMEs in developing countries with the service offerings of LexEcon eSME Initiative.
A Complementary Mission in the Public Interest:
The UN Convention on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts (i.e. the Electronic Communications Convention - ECC) has been effective since March 01, 2013. It has 18 signatories and 7 parties to date. Despite most countries in the world have e-commerce laws in operation today (based on the UN Model Laws on e-Commerce and e-Signatures), ratifying the ECC is very important in order to create a unified legal regime on electronic transactions carried out around the world.
In this context, we have planned to implement an awareness and advocacy program in 2016 to persuade law makers across the world on the importance of ratifying the UN Electronic Communications Convention.
Copyright 2015 LexEcon Consulting Group. All rights reserved.