Paranaque City, Philippines–Aiming to help Filipina entrepreneurs thrive in the digital space and gain helpful insights from successful women, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Fred Pascual joined the visionary entrepreneurs at the Go Negosyo Women Summit 2024 on 09 March.

In line with the women’s month celebration, the event served as a dynamic platform empowering Filipina entrepreneurs through education, mentorship, and networking opportunities focused on innovative approaches to entrepreneurship, digital transformation, and sustainable business practices.

Secretary Pascual acknowledged in his remarks the fact that women-owned micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) continue to have a harder time accessing and using financial services and products, including digital financial services.

The trade chief shared that the DTI has initiated a number of programs to support local MSMEs such as the Small Business Corporation’s RISE UP program, which addresses their issue of access to capital and credit.

RISE UP is a multi-purpose loan program that has soft terms and can easily be accessed by small businesses. In 2023, the program provided PHP 1.66 billion worth of loans to over 6,500 women MSMEs.

Moreover, Secretary Pascual highlighted the Department’s other initiatives to support women’s entrepreneurship, including business startups.

“We also have the Incubation, Development, and Entrepreneurial Assistance (IDEA) Project which seeks to enhance the participation of ASEAN women-led MSMEs in the digital economy. Until 2026, its e-business training toolkits and modules will be available to Pinay entrepreneurs,” he added.This strategy will accelerate MSMEs’ growth by enabling them to scale up from micro, small, and medium to large while preparing them for digital transformation.

Apart from Secretary Pascual, DTI Undersecretary Cris Roque also represented the Department in the event, where she spoke about empowered women entrepreneurs leading the digital age. ♦

Date of release: 10 March 2024