The onset of the pandemic may have been a time of great distress for many in the business sector. However, it has also brought some positive developments. One is that the restrictions have pushed many enterprises to level up, undergo digital transformation and adapt to the e- commerce platform in order to thrive.

Another positive development is the opportunity now being given to SMEs to raise capital from the equities market—something that many may never have considered to be a possibility in their near future.

Now that the IPO listing rules are less restrictive for SMEs, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) joins the Philippine Stock Exchange and the Securities and Exchange Commission in encouraging our small and medium enterprises to take the “Road to IPO,” because it is the road toward accelerated growth.

For the well-established SMEs, it is a great alternative to be able to raise funds for new projects, market expansion, diversification, innovations, technological upgrades, debt repayment, among others. It provides access to long-term capital and an excellent means of continuing to provide employment for many Filipinos while under a pandemic.

Having your enterprise listed will boost your brand’s image and credibility to the public and to the global landscape, making it more attractive to prospective new investors and ventures. As you go through the process and discipline of enhancing your company’s accountability and transparency, you achieve the first steps toward expansion and success.

We have always been advocating for mindset change among entrepreneurs through our various programs such as the Negosyo Center seminars and the Kapatid Mentor ME (KMME) Program. It is this change in mindset that will encourage every one of us to think long-term and consider the advantages of IPO listing.

You will begin thinking about enhanced corporate governance, social responsibility, sustainability, maintaining accountability to investors, and stock option plans for your employees. In other words, your horizons will expand considerably.

We are happy to note that four IPOs have emerged last year in the midst of the crisis. You will have the opportunity to hear from one of them later and be inspired by the results of their IPO experience.

Aside from that, this forum offers a lot of priceless takeaways. You can learn from the experience of industry experts and corporate leaders and get connected with seasoned IPO advisors.

This activity is one where we witness industry leaders and the government working together as a public-private partnership to achieve our common goal of transforming SMEs into highly innovative and competitive businesses in the New Normal. As President Rodrigo Duterte assured us in his last SONA, “the government is committed to assist the private sector to regain the commercial vibrance of the country prior to the pandemic”.

Consider this therefore as the beginning of a long journey towards expansion, growth, and sustained impact on your clients, employees, and other stakeholders.

Again, thank you PSE and SEC for helping our country’s SMEs.

Maraming salamat!

Date of Release: 16 September 2021