The government is offering various programs to help micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) transform their businesses digitally to sustain operations even during the pandemic, and promote youth entrepreneurship development.
Edwin Pasahol, chief of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Bureau of SME Development Program Development Division, said the agency is promoting intensively shifting to digitalization of the MSMEs as today’s physical stores have no clients or customers during this time of pandemic.
“We highly advocate the digitalization, promoting digital operations in partnering with service providers that are into platforms, so they can continuously operate their businesses and not eventually shut down,” he said in mixed English and Filipino in a webinar.
Pasahol said the DTI Ctrl+Biz Reboot Now! Program offers a series of free webinars that are targeted to MSMEs who need to transform their business digitally.
“Enablers across the entire ecommerce ecosystem will provide their expertise and experiences on how to take advantage of the digital space. We are also coordinating, partnering with the service providers like Grab, Shopee, and Lazada, all most popular platforms now, so that they will guide our MSMEs on how to partner with them, how to avail their services, and of course be part of their operations,” he added.
Pasahol said the agency also provides information to MSMEs on the different technology tools, applications, platforms and resources available to reinvent businesses during the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) crisis.
The tools or solutions specified in https://sites.google.com/view/tech-resources-for-msmes/home are categorized based on functionality across multiple categories such as e-commerce, e-payment, digital marketing, logistics, work-from-home collaboration tools, productivity tools, webinars, finding an expert, and government resources.
“(We) combine or consolidate different technology tools, application platforms, and resources so that they can cope with the challenges of community quarantine,” he said.
Apart from programs assisting the MSMEs transform their business digitally, Pasahol said the government is offering a program supporting business ideas of Filipino youth.
He said the Youth Entrepreneurship Program (YEP) is a focused program to address the young demographics of the country to become productive individuals through entrepreneurship.
“It will help young Filipinos develop their entrepreneurial skills by offering them a comprehensive package of interventions and efficient initiatives intended to harness public and private resources and direct these resources to the development of youth entrepreneurship.
This collaboration is directed towards assisting the youth in exploring their full potential to become successful entrepreneurs,” he added.
Director Noel Catibog of the Technology Transfer and Promotion Division (TTPD) of the Philippine Council of Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD), an agency under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), also bared support mechanisms for startups and MSMEs.
Catibog said these include the National Agri-Aqua Technology Business Incubation (ATBI) program, the agri-aqua business hub under the DOST-PCAARRD Innovation and Technology Center (DPITC), the DOST startup grant fund program, the Regional Agri-Aqua Innovation System Enhancement (RAISE) program, and the agri-aqua innovation challenge comprising startup pitching competition and startup mentorship.
The ATBI program is one of the strategies identified by DOST-PCAARRD to commercialize the technologies and outputs of local agri-aqua research and development (R&D) inputs.
It is established to encourage, support, and nurture the development of mature agriculture, aquatic, and natural resources (AANR)-based technologies into viable commercial agribusiness ventures for economic development.