Crowdfunding pitched for MSMEs

Iris Gonzales - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is pitching the capital market as an accessible source of funding for micro, small and medium enterprises or MSMEs.

In a recent roadshow with MSMEs, officials trumpeted crowdfunding as an option to raise capital.

Crowdfunding is a fundraising activity typically conducted by startups and small and medium enterprises where the public can support or fund a business idea through an online platform.

The SEC made the pitch during the recent Roadshow on Capital Market Formation for MSMEs and Start-ups in Cebu last week.

The initiative aims to harness the potential of MSMEs for further growth, in line with President Marcos’ thrust to provide different financing options for small businesses, said SEC commissioner Karlo Bello in his keynote speech.

“This government recognizes that MSMEs are the backbone of a resilient national economy, due to their nature of stimulating domestic demand through job creation, innovation, and competition,” Bello said.

The country’s MSME network accounts for 99.5 percent of the total businesses in the country, hires 63 percent of the local workforce, constitutes 25 percent of the country’s total exports, and contributes around 40 percent to the national economy.

The SEC presented crowdfunding, among others, as an accessible and convenient means for MSMEs to secure funds for expansion.

Executives from SeedIn Technology Inc., Investree Philippines, and Eastern Securities Development Corp. explained how MSMEs and start-ups can tap their services.

As of December 2022, over 200 businesses successfully raised capital through the platforms of Investree and Seedin Technology. SeedIn Technology’s platform alone has seen a total of P1.34 billion raised funds for 259 projects during the same period.

For his part, Philippine Stock Exchange president Ramon Monzon and Investment and Capital Corp. of the Philippines president and CEO Valentino Bagatsing discussed the benefits of listing at the stock market to expand one’s business.

Homegrown property developer Cebu Landmasters Inc. likewise shared its journey toward conducting its P15 billion initial public offering in 2018.

Cebu provincial board member Glenn Soco expressed his gratitude to the SEC for bringing the roadshow to Cebu, as it aligns with the provincial government’s vision for promoting the growth of MSMEs.

“When we talk about MSMEs, the provincial government is all ears. (MSMEs) support what Cebu is all about. We could not imagine Cebu without its micro, small and medium enterprises,” Soco said.

After Davao and Cebu, the SEC will bring its monthly roadshow to other areas in the country, including Cagayan de Oro, Zamboanga, Bacolod, Legazpi, Iloilo, Tarlac, Baguio, the Calabarzon region, and Metro Manila for the rest of the year.

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