To celebrate MSMEs in the Philippines, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), along with the MSMED (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development) Council, held the National MSME Summit 2019 on July 16 at the Philippine International Convention Center in Manila.

The summit, aptly themed “Inclusive and Sustainable Innovations for Globally Competitive MSMEs,” was staged to encourage and empower MSME owners to become “smart entrepreneurs.” The whole-day affair featured insightful talks from DTI and government representatives, as well as industry movers and shakers.

Below are some highlights:

“We need to encourage MSMEs to innovate… We call on MSMEs to explore novel ideas, business models, transform from traditional to digital.” —DTI Undersecretary Zenaida C. Maglaya, Regional Operations Group

MSMEs are indeed the lifeblood of the Philippine economy; in fact, 99.56% of business establishments in the country are micro, small, and medium enterprises. From 900,000 in 2017, the number of business registrations has grown to 1.42 million in May 2019.

As part of the government’s efforts to support and promote MSMEs, the DTI has come up with the 7Ms for creating smarter MSMEs:

  1. MINDSET CHANGE – Seminars and workshops help cultivate the right entrepreneurial mindset
  2. MASTERY – Negosyo Centers provide assistance to budding business owners, arming them with all the how-tos and know-hows of setting up a business.
  3. MENTORING – The DTI matches micro and small enterprises with private sector mentors who offer business assistance, coaching, and mentorship — for free!
  4. MONEY – DTI’s P3 microfinance program provides access to funding for startups and businesses looking to expand their operations.
  5. MACHINES – Under the Shared Services Facility (SSF) program, MSMEs will be equipped with the right tools and equipment for enhanced productivity and more streamlined operations.
  6. MARKET ACCESS – Through national trade fairs, the OTOP (One Town, One Product) program, and Go Lokal! retail store concepts, MSMEs will find it easier to reach and connect with their target market.
  7. MODELS OF BUSINESS – The various Negosyo Centers all over the country offer skills development workshops such as baking, soap-making, arts and crafts, and the like. Those interested in going down the entrepreneurial path can seek assistance in terms of fine-tuning business ideas, enhancing their sales skills, and more.

“The convergence mindset of the government is to promote ease of doing business.” —Assistant Secretary Mary Jean Pacheco, DTI-Competitiveness and Innovation Group and MSMED Committee on Business Climate Chair

According to the World Bank, setting up a business in the Philippines takes 13 steps in 31 days. But thanks to the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018, the steps have been reduced to 8 and the number of days to 12.

Still, the ultimate goal is to enable MSMEs to set up their business in one go: an online portal wherein you can register, apply for, and receive your business permit within 24 hours.

The DTI has already taken steps to simplify and streamline the process of business registration, starting with their new Business Name Registration System (BNRS). All one needs to do is go to the BNRS website, fill in all the relevant info, and pay online using Globe myBusiness GCash, the only BSP-regulated mobile payment service for the BNRS. Three days after payment, you’ll receive your OR (official receipt) and Business Name Registration Certificate.

“Let’s not compete; let’s work together.” —Teresita Coson-Sy, Vice Chair, SM Investments Corporation

In today’s hyper-connected world, the market can become increasingly competitive. But instead of competition, entrepreneurs would be better off with collaboration. Tie-ups, partnerships, and mergers in business are gaining ground — two heads are better than one after all.

MSME owners should be inspired by what the government is doing to advocate and foster better collaboration The DTI has partnered with the Department of the Interior and Local Government for the “Negosyo: Serbisyo sa Barangay” program to develop negosyo advocates at the barangay and grass-roots level, with the aim of establishing 200,000 new enterprises at the barangays.

As of writing, they have already penetrated 693 barangays, setting up Negosyo Centers and working with private sectors to mentor and cultivate grass-roots entrepreneurs.

“Let your packaging speak for you since you’re not always there to sell your product.” —DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez

You might have a good product on your hands, but if it’s not presented well, there’s a huge possibility that you’ll lose out on sales. So, think of your packaging as your sales representative: If your product is packaged well, you increase the chances of attracting — and retaining — customers.

Knowing that local MSMES are heavily reliant on packaging and understanding that not all have the budget for it (especially micro enterprises), the DTI has set up the Pack! Pinas program, which links MSMEs with packaging sources and suppliers. This DTI initiative is one way of helping micro, small, and medium enterprises become globally competitive, vis-a-vis products from neighboring ASEAN countries such as Thailand and Vietnam.

“We underscore the need to develop young entrepreneurs by equipping with the values, skills, and entrepreneurial spirit necessary for their businesses to succeed in the digital economy. We want them to start young, but we also want them to start right.” —DTI Undersecretary Zenaida C. Maglaya, Regional Operations Group

In today’s Digital Age, the need for tech-savvy youth entrepreneurs is more important than ever. Well aware of this need, the DTI has developed the Youth Entrepreneurship Program (YEP), which focuses on the youth to cultivate and instill in them the entrepreneurial mindset and lifestyle.

Since it kicked off last year, YEP has been holding road shows all over the country, specially targeting out-of-school youths to lead them down the right path and toward a brighter, better future — not just for themselves but for the country as well.

Understandably, youth entrepreneurs are expected to become the drivers of business innovation, with the willingness to experiment, improve, and iterate. As Brian Cu, President of Grab Philippines, said, “This is the golden age for MSMEs.” And the best ones who can take advantage of this is the youth.

“With every job created, you are saving one person from poverty.” —DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez

Entrepreneurship may not be viewed as noble a profession as, say, education, but there is merit in running a business. It’s more than just making a profit; it’s a way of paying it forward.

As DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez declared in his inspirational message, “Business can help us out of poverty.” And so committed to promoting the MSME culture in the Philippines that the DTI has partnered with Globe myBusiness through Globe myBusiness Academy, providing valuable content to MSMEs and equipping them with all the information they need to start, grow, and make their business succeed.

Watch the live stream of the MSME summit here:
Morning Session
Afternoon Session

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