Region 4A ASEAN MSME Devt Summit
Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV (4th from right), DTI-4A Regional Director Marilou Q. Toledo (3rd from left), and Assistant Secretary Blesila A. Lantayona (2nd from left) with others at the 3rd CALABARZON Regional MSME Development Conference.

To empower those at the bottom of the pyramid and marginalized sectors with the right mindset, the Department of Trade and Industry Region 4-A led the 3rd CALABARZON Regional MSME Development Council (RMSMEDC) Conference on 28 September 2017 in Antipolo City, Rizal Province.

With the theme, “The 7Ms in ASEANizing CALABARZON MSMEs,” the conference aims to inform the Filipino micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) about the 7Ms strategy of the DTI to help them compete locally and globally, especially with the country experiencing economic growth.

DTI-Regional Operations Group Assistant Secretary Blesila Lantayona said the 7Ms strategy for Philippine MSME Development, which are mindset, mastery, mentoring, market, money, machines, and models, will propel MSMEs to make headway in increasing the competitive market.

“The 7Ms strategy of DTI for MSME Development holistically equips the small business sector to make headway in increasing the competitive market while contributing to the larger cause of sustaining the entrepreneurial revolution,” said Lantayona.

“Every entrepreneur takes risks. Yes, you may fail once, twice, or a few times, but with the help of DTI and other partner agencies and organization, you will fail smart. You will not go into battle alone because there will be people who will help you pick up the pieces and start again,” said Senator Bam Aquino during the discussion on having the right mindset.

The DTI currently sits as chair of ASEAN 2017 and has hosted a series of high-level meetings among economic ministers of the 10 Member States of ASEAN and the region’s trade partners. The 2017 ASEAN MSME Development Summit has already been concluded on 14 July 2017, with the collective efforts of the private sector, civil society, and governments from across ASEAN, bringing together knowledge, perspectives, and experience in growing MSMEs.

“We conduct the first localization effort in the country to ensure that we, as CALABARZON, are aligned with the growing interest and concern for our MSMEs to participate and benefit from the ASEAN Economic Community,” said DTI CALABARZON Director Marilou Toledo.

“We focus on entrepreneurship because MSMEs support nation building. Entrepreneurship creates the most jobs and is a driver of economic growth,” added Toledo.

MSMEs are integral to the economic development and growth of the ASEAN region as they outnumber large enterprises in both quantity of establishments and share of the labor force they employ. The ASEAN MSMEs comprise the 95-99% of all business establishments, generating between 51% and 97% of employment.

With the competitive environment of the AEC, MSMEs are prompted to strategically enhance their productivity and address the current issues and challenges that ASEAN MSMEs would face in the next decade, adding that DTI will continue to empower and help MSMEs reap the fruits of the ongoing economic growth by engaging in vibrant entrepreneurial activities.