PLDT-owned technology firm Voyager Innovations has set up DigiHub, a physical facility in its Launchpad headquarters in Mandaluyong City that entrepreneurs can use as a space for consultation and mentoring.
Through DigiHub, Voyager aims to foster collaboration, accelerate learning and catalyze best practices among industry leaders, big enterprises, and MSMEs. It will be fully operational by first quarter next year with industry and trade partners.
For MSMEs that will sign up for the program, Voyager is offering a special Digital Plus package that includes its platforms and solutions.
For P15,000, a business owner can avail of services from Hatch such as digital marketing tools in Facebook, SMS broadcasts and website landing page; online store from TackThis!; and PayMaya digital payment solutions.
Entrepreneurs who require capital to help grow their businesses can also benefit from the Digital Loans for MSMEs from FinTQ’s Lendr partners such as First Circle, JK Capital, Development Bank of the Philippines, Esquire Financing, Asialink, Algo Leasing and Finance, and soon Radiowealth Financing.
To further promote greater access to finance, Lendr will soon launch an alternative credit scoring algorithm for MSMEs. This will minimize predatory or 5-6 lending, which is essentially a reaction to the difficulty of accessing loans from banks and other formal credit institutions.
?Enabling MSMEs is critical to economic progress, all the more so for emerging economies like the Philippines. We need the strong support of various stakeholders and players under one advocacy ? that of enabling our MSMEs with digital technologies. Voyager’s DX program for MSMEs will jumpstart the digital transformation of small businesses in this country,” said Manuel V. Pangilinan, chair of PLDT and its digital innovations arm Voyager Innovations.
Based on the most recent 2015 Philippine Statistics Authority figures, about 99.5% of all businesses in the country are micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
They are responsible for 35% of the gross domestic product of the country, providing work to around 60% of the total employed population.
In the study done by the International Trade Center on global competitiveness, MSMEs worldwide find engaging into digital commerce as too challenging.
Factors cited include lack of online visibility and business knowledge, lack of technical and language skills, high cost of membership fees in e-commerce platforms, poor Internet access, limited access to finance, and difficulty in registering or complying with platform requirements.
In addition, limited access to e-payment solutions was also reported as a major factor hindering growth.
“Micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises are critical to our economy. No business should be left behind ? whatever the size, industry, sector or geographic location. It is our mission to ensure that we help them get on board the digital economy, specifically in the areas of access and digital marketing, digital commerce, and digital financial services,” said Orlando B. Vea, president and CEO of Voyager Innovations.
Launched early in 2017, Voyager DX presents all of the company?s various digital services and platforms that can help aid brands and consumers in their respective digital transformation journeys ? from payments, financial services, e-Commerce, and even to customer engagement.