THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Negros Occidental will sustain its efforts to provide product development assistance to boost micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the province.
Rachel Nufable, chief industry trade and development specialist of DTI-Negros Occidental, said the province has a lot of potential MSMEs and they just need to further saturate the market by continuously improving their products.
Nufable cited the One town, One product (Otop) Next Generation Program as one of DTI’s initiatives that provides product development services to local entrepreneurs.
“In 2017, the program and budget was cascaded in the middle of the year so we had limited time to fully implement it,” she said, adding that the agency will continue to implement the Otop Next Generation Program this year.
The Otop Next Generation Program is aimed at assisting local MSMEs to level up their products through a series of sessions, including product development, branding, and marketing.
Of the 26 evaluated MSMEs from the gift, décor and homestyle sector (GDH), 24 have availed of the product development sessions last year.
There were 16 recipient-enterprises came from the food sector.
For this year, Nufable said they hope to cover more entrepreneurs for the Otop Next Generation Program sessions that will focus more on product development and marketing enabling them to grow.
Aside from Otop, the DTI-Negros Occidental also provided product development assistance to 27 MSMEs in the province.
Of these entrepreneurs, 17 were from the GDH and 10 from other sectors.
Nufable said they hired a designer who provided new designs to
“They will use these designs to develop their products and then have it tested in the market,” she said, adding that product development should be sustained for local entrepreneurs to compete amid the Asean integration.