ALTHOUGH the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Davao Region are very rich in ideas, they are also currently in need of financial support and other interventions to improve their competitiveness especially in the world market, said MS3 Agriventures entrepreneur.
In connection with the country’s celebration of the MSME week, different stakeholders and officials from Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) offices nationwide attended the National MSME Summit last July 10 to 11 at the Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga.
According to Trade and Industry Davao Chief of SME Development Services Section Rachel Remitio, the summit was conducted anchored on the theme “Accelerating 7M’s for Developing MSMEs 4.0”. These 7Ms are Mindset, Mastery, Mentoring, Markets, Money, Machines, and Models.
“The summit will present various opportunities and challenges facing MSMEs in the 4th Industrial Revolution (4 IR). The region sent the provincial MSMED council chair, representatives, and private sector representatives,” said Remitio.
Neil “Abdul Kareem” Santillan, founder of MS3 Agriventures, the first Davao-based Halal-certified chocolate in the city, believes that the SMEs contribute largely to economy of the country especially through providing employment locally.
In Davao Region at least 90 percent of the registered business enterprises are considered SMEs. Currently there are about 14,000 MSMEs already registered in the region.
Santillan also said the Dabawenyo SMEs are very rich in innovative ideas however in order to further sustain these ideas and convert it into value-adding products, SMEs would need assistance financially and through high-quality machineries.
“The SMEs also need financial management and organization structure to develop their productivity, of course financial support also like working capital to increase their production. For our projects [in MS3 Agriventures], we are also currently looking for financial support as well because the contribution of the OFWs is not enough especially we are producing chocolates. We would need one-time big investment to purchase machineries for chocolates,” Santillan told SunStar Davao.
MS3 Agriventures’ products are currently being exported to different countries such as Qatar where Santillan used to work also.
Santillan shared that when they participated in an exhibit in Japan last month, he was able to compare the products of the Filipino SMEs there that still need assistance and intervention in terms of food security and innovation in packaging, more so emphasized when displayed side-by-side with exhibited Japanese products and others from different parts of the globe.
On the other hand, Mary Ann Montenegro, an entrepreneur in Davao City and one of the angelpreneurs of the Kapatid Mentor Me Program of DTI, said various initiatives, programs, and interventions have and continued to be put in place to boost the MSME development in the region.
“The GO Negosyo Centers that have mushroomed in the region as well as the Kapatid Mentor Me (KMME) program have improved the local business climate and continue to enhance management and other labor capacities. This is evidenced by the success stories of KMME graduates regionwide and the increase of MSMEs assisted as new businesses,” said Montemayor.
She added they are confident that with the different services of Go Negosyo, KMME, and the 7M guidelines of DTI, the MSMEs in the region will be empowered and will further contribute to the region’s growth resurgence.
Simultaneous with the SME Week is also the celebration of the World Chocolate Week from July 7 to 13, Cacao City Marketing Cooperative Managing Director Wit Holganza said the Cacao City located beside Pasalubong Center is one of the initiatives to help the cacao player SMEs better promote their products.
“Cacao is a very good to introduce because it helps with poverty reduction because you can intercrop cacao in between your coconut and fruit trees. Therefore the farmer, who is the most impoverished population in this entire value chain is helped by a number of different crops to include cacao so there is an income that comes in, the income is not seasonal. You can also even plant in your backyard,” said Holganza.