MANILA CITY, 18 JULY 2023 — In celebration of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Development Week, the MSME Development Council (MSMED Council), supported by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Go Negosyo, spearheaded the National MSME Summit 2023 on 18 July 2023, at The Manila Hotel.  

With the theme, “Upgrade, Upskill, and Upsize MSMEs,” this year’s Summit underscored the importance of empowering MSMEs by elevating their capabilities, enhancing their skills, and expanding their operations to thrive in a rapidly evolving business landscape. The event served as a valuable platform for knowledge exchange, collaboration, and inspiration, equipping MSMEs with tools, insights, and connections necessary to thrive in the dynamic and challenging business environment. 

“MSMEs are the backbone of the Philippine economy. They provide employment opportunities, drive innovation, and contribute to the country’s overall economic growth. As Chair of the MSME Development Council, we at the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) highly value the discussions in the National MSME Summit 2023 as they enhance our national strategy for enterprise development,” DTI Secretary and MSMED Council Chair Fred Pascual said. 

Further, President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. expressed his full support for the MSMED Council’s strategic plans and initiatives focused on MSME innovation and digitalization. Led by Secretary Pascual, the MSMED Council unveiled various initiatives during the Summit, including the launch of the 2024 Presidential Awards for Outstanding MSMEs, the Philippine E-Commerce Platform (PEP), and the Digitalization of the One Town, One Product or OTOP Philippines. 

The 2024 Presidential Awards for Outstanding MSMEs recognized enterprises, in particular, small and medium enterprises that have consistently shown remarkable achievements in business management and financial performance. The awarding ceremony is set to take place during the National MSME Summit 2024. 

The Philippine E-Commerce Platform (PEP), on the other hand, is the first government omnichannel platform created to promote Filipino businesses and help them expand online. PEP prioritizes Filipino products and onboards businesses officially registered with DTI and other agencies, adding another layer of consumer protection. 

It grants buyers access to a wider range of locally-made products by leveraging public sector initiatives such as Go Lokal. Moreover, it is integrated with the eGov Super App, a platform for all Philippine government services. 

In further promoting MSME digitalization, DTI partnered with SOMAGO to provide One Town, One Product Philippines (OTOP)-assisted MSMEs with a new-fangled online store that is locally based in the Philippines and was founded in 2021. SOMAGO provides a safe, fun, easy, and unique one-stop e-commerce platform with a shopping marketplace and a variety of services including tour packages. 

Awardees of DTI-Small Business Corporation (SB Corp.) MSME Asenso Awards and Go Negosyo Inspiring MSME Awards were also recognized during the Summit. The MSME Asenso Awards of the DTI-SB Corp. gives honor to our distinguished MSMEs as well as Partner Financial Institutions (PFIs) that have shown exemplary performance as successful enterprises and PFIs and continue to be instrumental in our goal to transform the Philippine MSME landscape. The Go Negosyo Inspiring MSME Awards has been recognizing individuals and enterprises nationwide for their leadership roles in their respective enterprises, which led to their success, and for being an inspiration to fellow Filipinos in taking the route toward entrepreneurship. 

The Summit also showcased the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)’s initiatives on Standard Business Loan Application Form (SBLAF) and Credit Risk Database (CRD) Project. SBLAF aims to streamline the loan application process and make it more borrower-friendly for MSMEs while the CRD Project aims to enhance access to credit for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which involves the development of a statistical scoring model that can enhance a bank’s SME credit assessment toolkit for risk-based lending that may reduce dependence on collateral, improve loan pricing, and ultimately support access to finance of SMEs.  

In addition, the Summit featured the book launching of the MSME Resilience Core Group (RCG)’s publication titled “From Surviving to Thriving: Introducing the MSME Guide to Disaster Resilience.” This guidebook provides checklists, guide questions, and tools that will help MSMEs assess business risks and make necessary preparations to ensure business continuity during times of disaster or emergencies. It also offers guidance on how to swiftly recover from crises that businesses may encounter. 

The MSME Summit brought together more than 1,000 participants, including entrepreneurs, tech startups, academicians, business experts, mentors, and enablers. It served as a platform for knowledge exchange, collaboration, and inspiration, fostering discussions on the immense opportunities and challenges in today’s globally competitive business environment. ♦

Date of release: 18 July 2023