THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Davao is targeting to increase the number of DTI-assisted micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Davao Region from 21,000 to 25,000 by the end of the year.

DTI-Davao director Maria Belenda Ambi in an interview said they already recorded 21,000 MSMEs as of June 2019; 14,000 of which are DTI-assisted and more than 6,000 are not yet done with profiling.

“Naa mi mga wala na profile (There are those who we have not profiled yet). We need to put faces into the MSMEs that we are assisting because it is hard to report a number without profile. So hopefully by the end of the year, we could increase the number, siguro mga 25,000,” Ambi said.

She added that the target is possible through their Negosyo Center and other programs under the agency.

“We have Negosyo Center all over the region so we are expecting na mas daghan sila og ma-reach out na mga MSMEs because of their presence in the area (We have our Negosyo Centers all over the region so we are expecting that we could reach out to more SMEs through this kind of presence in the areas)” Ambi said.

In Davao Region, there are around 51 Negosyo Centers located in the local government units (LGUs) as partners in the operation.

Its establishment is provided under the Republic Act 10644, or the Go Negosyo Act which provides MSMEs the ease of doing business and facilitates access to grants and other forms of financial assistance, and shared service facilities (SSF), and ensure management guidance, assistance, and improvement of the working conditions of enterprises, and facilitate market access and linkage services for entrepreneurs.

Last July 31, around 500 MSMEs and aspiring business starters in Davao City were able to avail of the free mentorship of Go Negosyo Center through the Mentor Me on Wheels program at the Annex Event Center of SM City, Ecoland.

Ambi said programs like this will help MSMEs improve their businesses and encourage more business starters, thus increasing their number.