Digitalization key in growing MSMEs – Concepcion

Catherine Talavera - The Philippine Star
Digitalization key in growing MSMEs � Concepcion
A vendor shows the price of chicken meat at the Marikina Public Market on August 19, 2022.
STAR / Jesse Bustos

MANILA, Philippines — Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion sees digitalization as an important key in scaling up micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the country, emphasizing its role in raising their competitiveness.

“There has never been a better time to become an entrepreneur as today, when digital technology is making it easier for MSMEs to level up their businesses,” Concepcion said at the recent Digital Sign Up Now 2022 in Pasay City.

“The MSMEs benefited immensely from the e-wallets, the delivery apps and social media, which allowed them to compete alongside the big players. And this is significant for all of us because MSMEs generate more than half of the jobs in the Philippines,” he said.

As part of its push to encourage digitalization among MSMEs, Go Negosyo recently conducted the Digital Sign Up Now 2022, in partnership with the US embassy in the Philippines, which brought together two growth drivers – MSMEs and digital technology – which together are seen to accelerate inclusive growth in the country.

The event was attended by founders of digital startups, key executives from leading digital technology companies and incubators, experts in the creative industry, incubators and startups, as well as young professionals and students in the field of digital technology.

Digital Sign Up Now 2022 was organized to help MSMEs learn from the experiences and best practices of other entrepreneurs who have successfully transformed their businesses using digital platforms.

It also introduced MSMEs to possible collaborations with the different digital platforms now in the country, and shared lessons from professionals specializing in creative services, brand imaging, fintech as well as cybersecurity.

“There’s really no excuse to not become an entrepreneur now,” said Brian Cu, founder of SariSuki, a community-based retail solution aimed at making essential goods more affordable for ordinary consumers.

He was joined in the panel discussion that kicked off the event by startups that offered solutions in small-business management systems (Peddlr), logistics and transport (Angkas), live selling (Shoppertainment) and professional content creation (Tier One Entertainment), who all gave an overview of the possibilities offered by digital technology and social media.

Heather Variava, Deputy Chief of Mission of the US embassy in the Philippines, said in her speech that because entrepreneurship already presents risks, attention to cybersecurity mitigates that risk.

She added that a priority of the US Government is to provide a secure and stable environment, especially for entrepreneurs.

Also present to support the event was Department of Information and Communication Technology Undersecretary David Almirol, who shared that the Philippine government is eyeing to launch by end-2022 a service that aggregates e-commerce platforms specifically suited to small entrepreneurs.

For his part, SM Supermalls president Steven Tan expressed SM’s support, saying that 80 percent of its suppliers are MSMEs and that new concepts are often born from small enterprises.

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