No pandemic could stop the celebration of the 10th “Tara Na, Negosyo Na!”
This year, the University of the Philippines Institute for Small-Scale Industries (UP ISSI) conducted its annual offering “Tara Na, Negosyo Na!” through a three-day webinar series last August 26 – 28.
UP ISSI Officer-in-Charge Dr. Gonzalo A. Campoamor II, in his Opening Remarks, said that despite the pandemic, it is the goal of the Institute to continue sharing information and insights on entrepreneurship. “Sa kabila ng pandemya, nakakatuwang maidaraos natin ito sa pamamagitan ng webinar,” he said.
Former ISSI Director Dr. Aleli B. Bawagan also graced the occasion. In her Remarks, Dr. Bawagan acknowledged the many challenges faced by entrepreneurs amidst this pandemic and expressed her hopes that through the Webinar, participants will gain more learnings and inspiration that would be helpful to them in this difficult time.
Themed, “MSMEs Towards the Better Normal”, the webinar series centered on the experiences of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) during this coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic – the challenges they face, the opportunities they maximize, the assistance they need, and the programs and services being offered to them by both the private and the government sectors. The webinar series featured entrepreneurs, private organizations, and government agencies.
The first day focused on “The COVID-19 and Lessons from MSMEs”. Three women entrepreneurs – Steph Turiano Sinco of Plains & Plants, Mia Francesca Laungco of Twinkles Jewelry and Atty. Rochelle Marie Cortez of Svetlana’s Pastries, shared their experiences in starting their own businesses within and despite the limitations of the pandemic.
Some key messages shared by the three speakers:
“Find opportunities in the challenges. Learn to adapt. Look at the ‘new normal’ in a different perspective.” – Steph Turiano Sinco of Plains & Plants
“Adapt and innovate. Maximize digital technology. Market your products through social media. Be passionate AND committed with what you do. Passion is your starting point. Commitment gets you going despite the bumps and struggles along the way.” – Mia Francesca Laungco of Twinkles Jewelry
“Do not close your doors to opportunities… Learn. Never stop learning. While you are alive, potentials are limitless. Opportunities abound.” – Atty. Rochelle Marie Cortez of Svetlana’s Pastries
The second day’s discussion entitled, “MSMEs and the Private Sector” talked about how Filipinos are helping Filipinos. Representatives from the private sector – Mark Tanseco Del Rosario of Let’s Eat Pare, Alfred Iporac, Jr. of Meralco Powerlab, and Jorge Noel Y. Wieneke II of the Association of Filipino Franchisees, Inc. – shared what their organizations are doing to assist MSMEs through this crisis. Assistance came in the forms of market linkages, capacity building, among others.
Some key messages shared by the three speakers:
“More than ever, Filipinos should help Filipinos…helping people sincerely without other agenda. Helping will have a ripple effect. The wheel keeps on turning.” – Mark Tanseco Del Rosario of Let’s Eat Pare
“A business is most energy-efficient if it delivers more/improved products services for less energy input.” – Alfred Iporac, Jr.
“In times of crisis, creativity is necessary…a strong entrepreneurial mindset is a must. We should ignite the fire within us.” – Jorge Noel Y. Wieneke II of the Association of Filipino Franchisees, Inc.
The third day focused on “Government Programs and Services for MSMEs”, featuring representatives from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Rizal, the Department of Science and Technology-National Capital Region (DOST-NCR), and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)-Muntinlupa.
DTI Rizal Provincial Director Mercedes Parreno shared the different programs they have for MSMEs in Rizal, i.e. capacity building through webinars, the COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises (CARES) Program that offers MSMEs loans starting from PhP 10, 000 to PhP 500, 000, the Tindahang Rizaleno, an online shop that promotes and sells products of MSMEs from Rizal, etc.
The DOST also assists the MSME sector through various initiatives. DOST-NCR Research Specialist Blaise Mansue said they hold technology training for MSMEs through online webinars and provide technical consultancy services, food safety training, technical assistance on food safety assessments and energy assessment for MSMEs with over PhP 50, 000 monthly electricity consumption. She highlighted the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP), which encourages and assists MSMEs to adopt technological innovations to improve their products, services, operations and increase their productivity and competitiveness.
Revenue Officers Gerald Monzales and Chona Deocariza of BIR-Muntinlupa focused on BIR’s procedures and requirements for business registration, filing and payment of taxes. The speakers also discussed the different taxes and the corresponding deadlines of payment.
Closing the three-day event, Glennis S. Uyanguren – Head of the Training and Entrepreneurship Education Division (TEED), thanked the webinar participants and emphasized the UP ISSI’s commitment to continue advocating for the advancement of the MSME sector and the promotion of entrepreneurship in the country.
On top of the informative and inspiring discussions, 10 lucky participants of the webinar series also received training vouchers for the online training programs – Start Your Own Business, Digital Marketing and HANDA (Honing Agents for National Disaster Awareness).
This year’s “Tara Na, Negosyo Na!” management team was composed of Allysa Anne Mari-De Guzman (Program Manager) and Kimberly Parreño (Program Coordinator). The event was facilitated by Marvin M. Manlapas, Sendy A. Delos Reyes and Melanie V. Cabotaje.
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