The University of the Philippines Institute for Small-Scale Industries (UP ISSI) held its first MSME Conference last 16 March 2018 at UP Bonifacio Global City with a crowd composed of academics, policymakers, entrepreneurs, and other stakeholders.
UP officials led the opening of the conference headed by Elvira A. Zamora, UP Vice-President for Development and the Conference Chair, Michael L. Tan, Chancellor of UP Diliman, who gave his welcome remarks, and Fidel R. Nemenzo, UP Diliman Vice-Chancellor for Research and Development and Officer-in-Charge of UP ISSI, who introduced the keynote speaker Undersecretary Zenaida C. Maglaya of the Department of Trade and Industry.
Usec. Maglaya, a regular guest speaker of UP ISSI programs, talked about the importance of building up an entrepreneurial mindset to achieving the success in business. She likewise added the other Ms of MSME development in addition to “mindset:” mastery, mentoring, money, machines, markets, and models of business.
The conference proper was broken down into three panel sessions from trends and challenges facing MSMEs, enhancing entrepreneurship, and the MSMEs contributions to society.
The first session introduced the use of technology in order for MSMEs to address the proper documentation of their business, augment their income, and manage their business. Alexander A. Capulong of First Circle, a financial technology company, addressed the “Plugging the financial gap for non-banked and underserved businesses through education and product innovation,” while Lhea Rose C. Atencio from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) Graduate School read her paper on “Financial management practices of aquaculture business in the Province of Bulacan.” Mark Ruiz of Hapinoy, on the other hand, tackled the “Sari-sari stores, industry shifts, and MSME evolution”.
The second session proceeded with three other speakers who talked about the Enhancing Entrepreneurship theme. Mark Anthony M. Morales, Assistant Professor from UP Diliman School of Urban and Regional Planning, has his paper “Open space network systems in urban areas as a conduit for entrepreneurial opportunity: a project planning and development workshop to benefit MSMEs (the case of Diliman, Quezon City).” Lawyer Bayani F. Abesamis of abelaw.manila firm talked about “Equity crowdfunding as an alternative funding stream for MSMEs: a startup lawyer’s experience,” while Gil F. Cacha, a CPA, read his paper entitled “Improve business performance through financial planning, process involvement, and capability development”.
The afternoon session was opened with the former UP ISSI director and now Department of Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato T. Dela Peña delivering his message on the government’s program on business innovations by using science and technology. According to Sec. Dela Peña, the program aims to “bring in new technologies needed by the industry to conduct research and development activities and to contribute to the technology value chain providing the MSMEs the means to undertake R & D global competitiveness.”
The day-long conference finished off with the last panel discussions about the MSME and its contributions to society. PUP’s Cresilda M. Bragas and Paul John G. Raci delivered their paper on “Impact of social entrepreneurship on poverty reduction in Payatas, Quezon City,” while Romano G. Lavilla, of Centro Escolar University Manila read his study on “Social responsibility practices and its effect on employees commitment, business growth, and company image.”. From the University of the Philippines Press, Christine Marie Lim Magpile, delivered her paper “From hardship to success: an analysis of the effectiveness of ASHI’s programs in uplifting poverty and empowering women.” UP ISSI staff and Business Continuity Managers Association of the Philippines member Joanna Rose T. Laddaran talked about her research on disaster preparedness entitled, “Keeping afloat: the role of MSME in community preparedness.”
The first ever conference of MSME was organized by the Research Division of the UP ISSI headed by Gloria S. Recio and her staff, with Dr. Elvira A. Zamora as Conference Chair.