MSMEs and Nation-Building: Ten Takeaways from the 1st MSME Conference

This year, UP ISSI held its very 1st MSME Conference, which tackled topics such as entrepreneurship education, enterprise development, local and international market development for MSMEs, MSME financing, MSME policy development, MSME strategic/functional management, new trends in entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, start-ups, and technology and innovation.

1st MSME Conference

The 1st MSME Conference, which carried the theme MSMEs and Nation-Building, brought together almost 200 attendees from the industry, including practitioners, policymakers, and academics (graduate students/postgraduate students/research fellows). Held last 16 March, the conference saw government agencies, private foundations, micro finance institutions, and media outfits all commit to encourage the development and promotion of Philippine MSMEs. This commitment from the conference’s partners and sponsors, such as the Department of Science and Technology (Technology Application and Promotion Institute), the Department of Trade and Industry, BPI Foundation Inc., Peace and Equity Foundation, Small Enterprises Research and Development Foundation Inc., First Circle, Industrial Guarantee and Loan Fund, San Miguel Foundation Inc., and DZUP 1602, was echoed by the University of the Philippines.

In his conference message, Dr. Michael L. Tan, Chancellor of the University of the Philippines – Diliman, asserts, “Diliman commits its continued support to UP ISSI in carrying out its mandate of promoting the growth of small and medium-scale industries in the country.

If you weren’t able to make it to the 1st MSME Conference, here are ten key takeaways from the paper presenters (arranged in no particular order):

A more proactive approach has to be taken by SMEs moving towards financial literacy beyond operations management to break out of stagnation.” – Mr. Alexander A. Capulong, First Circle

They [fish pond operators] need to maintain financial statements as this is the fishbone of their Business.” – Ms. Lhea Rose C. Atencio, Polytechnic University of the Philippines

In our era, it’s also about the digital infrastructure. That is the role of the sari-sari store. Doon siya sa gitna ng physical and digital infrastructure.” – Mr. Mark Ruiz, Hapinoy

Merge culture with consumerism in usage and development of the city’s open spaces.” – Dr. Mark Anthony M. Morales, UP Diliman

Equity crowdfunding provides an alternative as it would drastically simplify the process, resulting in easier
access to capital for MSMEs.” – Atty. Bayani F. Abesamis, A.B., LIb., JD, Abelaw, Manila

In their [MSMEs] failure to know their true financial condition, they are already losing.” – Dr. Gil F. Cacha, C.P.A., M.M., Ph.D

Social enterprises provide income opportunities to the people in rural areas, giving them a chance to prove their talent [and do] indigenous activities for better chances of livelihood.” – Ms. Cresilda M. Bragas, Polytechnic University of the Philippines

…for a business to grow and succeed, it needs to be responsible for the welfare of all its stakeholders starting from its own employees, customers, owners.” – Dr. Romano G. Lavilla, Centro Escolar University Manila

Honesty and integrity is very much important in every business.” – Ms. Christine Marie Lim Magpile, University of the Philippines Press

Resilient communities begin with resilient citizens.” – Ms. Joanna Rose T. Laddaran, UP ISSI and Business Continuity Managers Association of the Philippines



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