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The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) through the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) in Sydney, the overseas office of the DTI in Australia, organized the first webinar of the Trabaho, Negosyo, Kabuhayan (TNK) webinar series held on 20 April 2020.

The TNK is an initiative of the DTI in partnership with other government agencies, private sector, academe and civil society organizations, to increase incomes by generating more jobs and promoting entrepreneurship. The program aims to popularize entrepreneurship as an alternative to unemployment, job-seeking or migration.

Alma Argayoso, the Philippine commercial consul to Australia said that PTIC-Sydney had conducted TNK seminars in the past and has lined-up several seminars this year. However, due to coronavirus restrictions, the physical events have been cancelled but they have decided to offer virtual seminars.

“We realized that the webinars would be very useful particularly for those who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19, or for returning Filipinos who would like to start their own business. The webinars might also be of interest to Overseas Filipino Investors (OFIs) or even Australians who would like to help the Philippines recover from the pandemic by investing in viable economic activities in the country as soon as lockdown restrictions are lifted or helping finance the livelihood activities or rehabilitation efforts of their relatives or friends back home,” Argayoso said.

The first webinar of the series covered Franchising 101 and discussed key topics such as how to start and select a franchise business, benefits and pitfalls of franchising, franchising regulations, and franchising opportunities in Australia and the Philippines.

The speaker, Mr. Rudolf Kotik, founder of RK Franchise Consultancy Incorporated, discussed the basics of franchising for those looking for franchise opportunities in the Philippines or Australia, as well as opportunities for business owners who wish to develop their business into a franchise. An option to participate in a co-franchise agreement was also discussed where an opportunity to co-own a franchise together with other franchisees is available for those who wish to start a franchising business as a passive investor.

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Mr. Kotik highlighted that the future of franchising is assured even after COVID-19 and is one of the most enduring industries one can think of. He said that aside from food businesses, the services sector such as beauty salons, spa services and laundry shops would bounce back immediately after lockdown restrictions are lifted.

“Franchising is an industry with a proven business system and the best way to invest your money and I highly recommend it to our overseas Filipino workers looking for alternative ways of employment or those who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19,” Kotik added.

Argayoso, during her presentation, highlighted that aside from the webinar initiated by her office, the DTI in the Philippines offers various services, tools and information to help Filipinos succeed as entrepreneurs. Through DTI’s Negosyo Centers located all over the country, the agency provides business advisory, business registration facilitation, product catalogue preparation, packaging and labelling design development, mentorship, education and training, exposure to online platforms and trade fairs, as well as funding for MSMEs.

More recently, DTI’s financing arm, SB Corporation announced a P1B loan facility for MSMEs affected by COVID-19 which will be rolled out by partnering with Negosyo Centers in accepting loan applications for small enterprises.

Argayoso said the TNK webinar series will discuss various business opportunities and feature a sector or industry per session. It will also include other topics of interest related to starting a business. ♦

by: Commercial Consul Alma Argayoso of PTIC-Sydney

Date of Release: 24 April 2020