Encouraging entrepreneurship has been advocated as the most promising avenue for economic development of Indigenous communities in Zambales. Unfortunately, the number of indigenous people engaged in small business in Zambales is quite low.
Indigenous entrepreneurs face a number of barriers in the development of their businesses such as -lack of skills, marketing of products and financial capability. These has resulted to poverty and higher rates of unemployment. Through the different programs of the Department of Trade and Industry, these are addressed and enable the Indigenous people communities to escape from these barriers.
Because of their remote location, these communities make do with transportation through “kolong- kolong” sidecar. Despite these hindrances, the DTI-Zambales established two (2) proactive Indigenous group the Sta. Marta Agrarian reform beneficiaries and the Aeta Tribes in Palauig, Zambales.
The Aeta Tribe in Palauig  (ATIP) is one of our beneficiary of the Shared Service Facility Project on Bamboo processing, they received equipment in making barbeque sticks and bamboo souvenir items. Through the SSF Project given to them, the production volume from 500 bundles per week increased to 2,500 bundles of barbeque sticks per week. ATIP is one of the province’s proactive indigenous entrepreneurs last year. In fact, they received the award for the Best Provincial SSF Cooperator for the province of Zambales because of their enterprise development. They also attended different local, regional and national trade fairs such as the Likha ng Central Luzon, CARP Likha ng Central Luzon Arbs and Manila Fame. Through the support of DTI and through their commitment, this year, the SSF on Bamboo processing will be upgraded to develop more products and to enhance/innovate the bamboo handicrafts of ATIP.
Development of Indigenous enterprises which can employ Indigenous people are seen as a means of creating employment in remotes areas. Aside from the Aeta Tribes in Palauig, the Sta. Marta ARBs located at Sitio Sta Marta,Salaza,Palauig, is also being assisted. The community is fifteen(15) kilometers away from the main barangay of. Salaza, Palauig. This enterprise is engaged in making Broom and Nito Handicrafts. The DTI Zambales Office conducted training programs fo the enterprise such as Skills training on Nito Handicrafts and Skills training on Broom Making. Now, the Sta. Marta ARBS have a formal entrepreneurial activity which can enable, change and transform the indigenous cultural habits to Indigenous entrepreneurship.
“Indigenous participation in business enterprise is a way of enhancing the economic growth of Indigenous communities in Zambales. We at DTI-Zambales will continue to give the best of what have to develop more enterprises for the Indigenous entrepreneur.”♦