The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) serves as the chairman of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Council (MSMEDC) of the Philippines.
As such, they staged this year’s National MSME Summit to showcase vital and game-changing whole-of-government policy reforms, programs, and initiatives to empower and build revolutionary Filipino entrepreneurs.
Developing MSMEs for the country’s economy
The summit’s theme, “Inclusive and Sustainable Innovations for Globally Competitive MSMEs”, reportedly underscored the need to develop MSMEs and young entrepreneurs.
This will be done by equipping them with the values, skills and entrepreneurial spirit necessary for their businesses to succeed in the digital economy.
The country’s undeniable economic growth and success can be attributed to the vibrant entrepreneurial spirit of the MSME sector, which plays a significant role in reducing poverty and achieving inclusive growth.
The DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez noted that data gathered from the local government units (LGUs), through the Philippine Business Registry (PBR), indicated that there are about 1.5 million registered enterprises in the country.
Encourage MSMEs to innovate and go digital
MSMEs should be encouraged to innovate. Very simply put, anything new to affirm is innovation, while anything new to the world is invention.
MSMEs should explore novel ideas and business models as well as transform from traditional to digital.
The Philippines is currently considered one of Asia’s economic bright spot, with an average gross domestic product growth average of over 6%.
Moreover, the country’s unemployment rate slid down to 5.1% and underemployment was at a record-low of 13.5% as of April 2019.
MSME programs under the seven-point strategy are focused and targeted to benefit those at the bottom of the pyramid.
This strategy aims to help ordinary people succeed and prosper in life, in line with the vision of the Philippine Government to provide better and comfortable lives for all Filipinos.
The seven-point strategy includes:
By accelerating the 7Ms strategy for MSME development, the economic priority agenda to achieve inclusive growth and shared prosperity for all will bring into sharper focus the areas of higher importance and greater impact for the MSMEs.
The midterm mark of the current administration had given birth to the Department’s ground-breaking initiatives for MSMEs. These include:
- Pondo para sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3) (English translation: Funds for Change and Prosperity)
This provides an easy access and not collateral microfinancing fund for Filipino entrepreneurs.
- Kapatid Mentor ME (KMME) Program (English translation: Sibling Mentor ME)
This gives way to a massive campaign for entrepreneurship development producing confident entrepreneurs with the right mindset and business know-how
- Go Lokal! (English translation: Go Local!)
This mainstreams MSME products without incurring the high cost of operating a retail outlet;
- Negosyo Serbisyo sa Barangay (NSB) (English translation: Business Service in the Barangay)
This program is recently launched to bring the Department’s services to the grassroots.
The summit was attended by more than 1,000 participants who represented different groups such as entrepreneurs, tech start-ups, academe, business experts, mentors, and enablers.
The event provided immense opportunities to exchange knowledge and insights from starting a business to preparing for the challenges ahead in today’s globally competitive business environment.