Big business forms alliance to support small, micro enterprises

August 27, 2018 News

MANILA, Philippines — The country’s small businesses and entrepreneurs got a much-needed boost following the recent launch of the Pilipinas, Angat Lahat Alliance in Malacanang recently.

Led by presidential adviser for entrepreneurship chairman Joey Concepcion, the initiative aims to integrate and accelerate all government and private sector programs and initiatives geared toward poverty alleviation and job generation through the development of micro and small enterprises.

“It is our mission to help every Filipino achieve prosperity – not just for the select few but for all. We in the business sector must equip and empower our brothers and sisters to accelerate the achievement of economic prosperity. We believe that through this alliance of business organizations, we can make inclusive growth a reality,” Concepcion said during the formal launch.

President Duterte graced the launch, which was attended by the country’s top tycoons.

Alliance members include Go Negosyo, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce (Philippines) Inc., Management Association of the Philippines, Bankers Association of the Philippines, Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines, Makati Business Club, Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants, People Management Association of the Philippines, Philippine Franchise Association, Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines, Microfinance Council of the Philippines Inc., Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc., Philippine Marketing Association, Association of Filipino Franchisers Inc., Anvil Business Club, IT & Business Process Association of the Philippines, Supply Chain Management Association of the Philippines, Semiconductor & Electronics Industries in the Philippines Foundation Inc., Philippine Retailers Association, Digital Commerce Association of the Philippines, Philippine Women’s Economic Network, Direct Selling Association of the Philippines, Women’s Business Council Philippines, Philippine Association of Legitimate Service Contractors, ASEAN Business Advisory Council Philippines, Korean Chamber of Commerce Philippines Inc., European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, and American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines Inc.

The members will advocate for job generation and poverty alleviation through the digitalization of micro-enterprises, agribusiness development and island tourism, Concepcion said.

“We plan to help by focusing on mentorship, money, and market. The power of mentorship is extremely huge. Many of the attendees are actual beneficiaries of this immense power – from schools, parents, colleagues. They continue to mentor each other to become successful entrepreneurs and businessmen. Yet, many of those at the bottom of the pyramid lack that skill. This is where we intend to focus,” Concepcion said.

On mentorship, Concepcion said: “So far, together with the Department of Trade and Industry, we have trained and mentored and passed 5,125 mentees. Secretary Lopez and his entire team have been one of the greatest partners we’ve had in really scaling down mentorship to the grassroots level. Secretary Piñol, as well, with his programs in the Department of Agriculture. We have worked with 425 cooperatives with their heads and their treasurer. This is led by Ginggay Hontiveros-Malvar, who has worked very hard not only in this project as well as in many of our projects in Mindanao, especially Marawi. And the pursuit of helping Marawi and Sulu still continues. With the help of everyone in the private sector last year and the year before – supporting, bringing, and helping them in their own negosyos.”

Mentorship, market, and another M – money.

“Our President wants to get rid of the 5-6 lending scheme. The way to do it is to digitalize our micro and small entrepreneurs. Manny Pangilinan and Fernando Zobel, the owners of Smart and Globe, play a unique opportunity of trying to create a platform that will reach our microentrepreneurs by enabling them to use a smartphone to borrow money. With their platforms, Lendr and Mynt, and with the help of our fast-moving consumer goods companies Unilever, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, P&G, etc., we have laid the framework to enable microentrepreneurs to access different lenders at much lower interest rates,” he said.

In providing market access, Concepcion said the government’s Build Build Build program will help.

“I would like to thank our President for giving the privilege to our private sector to be partners with the government in airports: San Miguel with Bulacan, now the group of seven having the OPS (original proponent status) for the NAIA rehabilitation. I believe that with the modernization of all our airports, tourism will be the biggest game-changer,” he said.

Likewise, the Build Build Build in roads, ports, and all of that are equally important because access from farm-to-market is key in developing our agriculture sector.

These projects, he said, can help businesses reach their various markets.

This is good news indeed for the country’s small and micro entrepreneurs.

This article was originally published on Philippine Star on August 27, 2018.