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Freeman Cebu Business

Big firms offer help for MSMEs through TESDA

Ehda Dagooc - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - More local and multinational companies are now expressing willingness to help the micro-entrepreneurs in the country through the help of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.

TESDA director general Joel Villanueva said that drawing inspiration from Coca-Cola’s

STAR (Sari-Sari Store Training and Access to Resources) program, other companies are now inquiring from TESDA how they can reach out to the micro players such as the sari-sari stores and other informal retailers.

Villanueva said, during the Coca-Cola-TESDA-Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation, the signing of the tripartite initiative will help equip the sari-sari store owners in the Visayas with professional know-how and access to finance.

Like Coca-Cola's pioneering initiative, Villanueva said that big telecom companies, global consumer brands, are now asking TESDA to develop similar partnership, as micro businesses such as sari-sari store has become one of the larger distribution outlets for consumer goods, telecom products (prepaid cards,).

TESDA, according to Villanueva has existing support programs for the micro entrepreneurs, like providing them trainings on book keeping, and accounting, among other basic skills needed to run a small business.

"We are flexible and sensitive to the needs of industries. If there are programs they want us to develop, we would like to do it," said Villanueva, explaining that similar to the Coca Cola partnership along with micro-finance organization NWTF, they developed a special module to help the sari-sari store owners.

TESDA intends to transfer knowledge and skills to its civil society partners so that they can in turn, do the same for their network of micro entrepreneurs.

"We want them [sari-sari stores] to succeed because our business is dependent on them," said Adel Tamano, vice president for public affairs and communications of Coca-Cola Philippines.

The Philippines is part of the company's country beneficiaries of empowering five million women entrepreneurs around the world by 2020.

Launched in 2011, the beverage company has assisted 36,000 Filipino women in more than 40 cities across the country, about 600 are from different areas in Cebu.

STAR is part of Coca-Cola's worldwide initiative dubbed "5by20" designed to contribute to Millennium Development Goal (MDG) poverty alleviation efforts.

MDG is composed of eight international development goals established by the United Nations Millennium Summit in 2000, following the adoption of the United Nations Millennium declaration. (FREEMAN)

ADEL TAMANO

COCA COLA

COCA-COLA

COCA-COLA PHILIPPINES

JOEL VILLANUEVA

LIKE COCA-COLA

MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOAL

NEGROS WOMEN

SARI

SARI-SARI STORE TRAINING AND ACCESS

VILLANUEVA

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