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Gov’t programs assist biz startups, MSME digitalization

Gov’t programs assist biz startups, MSME digitalization
Written by publishing team

Manila The government offers various programs to help Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) digitally transform their businesses to sustain operations even during the pandemic and promote youth entrepreneurship development.

Edwin Basahul, Head of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) – Office of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Program Development Division, said the agency is promoting an intense shift to digitization as physical stores have lost customers since the global health crisis began in March 2020.

“We are strongly advocating for digitalization and promotion of digital operations in partnership with service providers that are on the platforms, so that they can run their businesses continuously and not eventually shut down,” he said in mixed English and Filipino during a webinar.

“DTI Ctrl + Biz Reboot Now!” said Basahul. The program offers a series of free webinars aimed at micro, small and medium businesses that need to digitally transform their operations.

Enablers across the entire e-commerce ecosystem will provide their expertise and experience on how to take advantage of the digital space. We also coordinate and partner with service providers such as Grab, Shopee and Lazada, the most popular platforms right now, so that they guide our SMBs on how to partner with them, how to take advantage of their services, and of course, how to be a part of their operations.”

Basahul said the agency also provides information to MSMEs on the various technological tools, applications, platforms and resources available to reinvent businesses amid the crisis.

The tools or solutions identified at 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, collaboration tools in Work from home, productivity tools, webinars, finding an expert, and government resources.

“(We) are aggregating or integrating different technology tools, application platforms, and resources so that they can meet the challenges of community quarantine,” he said.

Apart from programs that help MSMEs, Basahul said the government has come up with a Youth Entrepreneurship Program to support the business ideas of the younger group and help them become productive.

“It will help young Filipinos develop their entrepreneurial skills by providing them with a comprehensive set of effective interventions and initiatives aimed at harnessing public and private resources and directing these resources to the development of youth entrepreneurship,” said Basahul.

Director Noel Katibog of the Division of Technology Transfer and Promotion at the Philippine Council on Agriculture, Water Research, Natural Resources and Development (PCAARRD), an agency of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), also blocked support mechanisms for start-ups and micro, small and medium enterprises.

These include the Agri-Aqua Technology Business Incubator (ATBI) program, the agri-aqua business center under the DOST-PCAARRD Center for Innovation and Technology, the DOST Startup Grant Fund Program, and the Agri-Aqua Regional Innovation System Enhancement Program, Catibog said. In the field of hydroponics (agri-aqua) promotional competition for start-ups and mentorship for start-ups.

The ATBI program is one of the strategies identified by DOST-PCAARRD to commercialize R&D input technologies and outputs in domestic hydroponics.

Encourages, supports and nurtures the development of mature agriculture and technologies based on water and natural resources into viable agricultural business enterprises for economic development. (Public relations)

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