Push for more innovative Negros MSMEs gets boost

THE efforts on pushing for more innovative micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the region have gained a boost through the 1st Negros Island Region (NIR) MSME Summit.

At least 500 industry stakeholders and experts in the MSME development sector convened at SMX Convention Center in Bacolod City on Wednesday, July 19, for the one-day summit geared towards developing more competitive entrepreneurs through innovation.

“Innovation should be present in all areas,” said keynote speaker Director Jerry Clavesillas of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) - Bureau of Small and Medium Enterprises Development.

Clavesillas said entrepreneurs should have innovations in the way they manage and finance the business, and process and sell their products.

“We should innovate not only for the sake of innovating, the concept of innovation is being able to lessen the cost of doing business. It should result to economic value and profit," he added.

Themed “The 7M’s Towards Prosperous Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) MSMEs,” the activity included discussions on topics like overcoming mindset barriers to MSME development, mastery and mentoring toward competitiveness and resilience, accessing domestic and regional markets, overcoming money hurdles, and machines and business models toward productive and responsible MSMEs.

Former governor Rafael Coscolluela, who served as one of the panelists, said there is a need to expand the mindset of local entrepreneurs.

Coscolluela, Capitol consultant on investment promotions, export, and trade development, said Negrenses, for instance, should think of producing other products using sugarcane as raw material.

“We should keep on looking for investable ideas which the DTI and mentors could put together to help entrepreneurs for its realization,” he added.

For the private sector's part, Philip Cruz of Herbanext said local entrepreneurs should always "think out of the box" and invest with people.

Roberto Oby Castañeda, chief executive officer and founder of Don Roberto’s Winery Corp., urged participants to always "strategize" and keep in mind that it’s "no guts no glory."

The summit was initiated by DTI-Negros Occidental in collaboration with the Provincial MSME Development Council.

Aside from the lectures, it also featured stories about “Innovation in Motion: Showcasing Tech-MSMEs and Startups and the impact of Digital Trends to Entrepreneurship.”

Also, the DTI-Negros Occidental along with its partner-startups launched the pitched concept of creating the e-commerce site for MSMEs in NIR.
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