MSMEs—or micro, small, and medium enterprises—are driving the Philippine economy to an interesting direction: inclusive growth.
As of 2013, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) recorded 937,327 businesses falling under the MSME category, which accounts for 99.6 percent of all registered enterprises in the country. The micro segment is the largest segment, with over 800,000 registered entities that provide 2.3 million local jobs and generate 25 percent of the country’s total exports.
These figures highlight a new economic landscape where more and more people—even those with little to no capital or those typically excluded from the job market—generate and gain productive employment. Students, housewives, retirees, and individuals with limited physical abilities can participate in income-generating activities through starting their own micro-enterprises.
“PLDT Smart SME Nation believes in empowering individuals to become modern entrepreneurs,” said Mitch Locsin, PLDT VP and PLDT Smart SME Nation Head. “Entrepreneurship is not only about helping one’s self, but also about contributing to families and communities. Collectively, MSMEs contribute to an economically stronger Philippines.”
Leveling the playing field
Despite the increasing number of Filipino entrepreneurs and their growing economic impact, an overwhelming majority is missing out on profit and expansion opportunities.
“Only one percent of over 900,000 MSMEs have online presence,” noted Locsin. “With the rest of the world quickly moving to a more digital-centric business direction, MSMEs—especially the micro-enterprises—need to catch up, fast.”
A group dedicated to amplifying the business potential of MSMEs, PLDT Smart SME Nation offers the right digital tools to future-ready micro-entrepreneurs. Through a reliable landline and high-speed DSL connection, the SMART BizKit, and an online store powered by Tack This!, a micro-enterprise can reach and serve more customers with lower overhead costs.
“The digital arena is where MSMEs can directly compete with large enterprises,” added Locsin. “That’s why we support our entrepreneurs and help them conquer the digital landscape with our products and services.”
Gearing up for a digital future
Last April 22, 2016, PLDT Smart SME Nation gathered over 1,400 modern Pinoy entrepreneurs at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila for a day filled with revolutionary insights and key learnings from the country’s industry stalwarts. Dubbed TechIsland 3.0, the event is the first SME Nation business convention to be open to the general public.
To help MSME owners embrace a digital future and put their learnings into practice, PLDT and students from Pampanga’s St. Mutien College developed websites for each TechIsland 3.0 attendee. The students developed 30 percent of the websites, and will continue to work with PLDT Smart SME Nation for future projects to benefit MSMEs.
SME Nation also rolled out the TechMobile, a caravan of digital tools and solutions specifically designed for MSMEs, in several key provinces, including Negros and Cavite. Through this initiative, PLDT and Smart’s tech expertise can easily reach entrepreneurs wherever they are in the country.
Locsin added, “By empowering MSMEs to participate in the digital disruption happening in business right now, we also empower them to become active players in the journey towards nation-building through inclusive economic growth.”
To find out how you can become a digitally savvy micro-entrepreneur, visit www.smenation.com.ph.