Telecoms giant PLDT, its digital innovations arm Voyager Innovations, entrepreneurship advocate Go Negosyo, and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) have joined hands to empower the country’s small businesses by equipping them with tools for the digital marketplace and allow them to reap the rewards of e-commerce.
Formally launched at a press event dubbed “A Growing Collaboration for the Filipino” on February 12 at the Makati Shangri-la Hotel, the partnership was formed to support DTI’s objective of providing 100,000 micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) around the Philippines with digital solutions by 2020.
“We are committed to help MSMEs thrive and become more globally competitive, through digital services and solutions,” said PLDT and Smart chairman and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan at the media launch.
These digital services and solutions are encapsulated in the three Ms, namely mentorship, marketplaces, and money.
Small businesses will have access to specialized business training and mentorship via Go Negosyo’s “Mentor Me” program in its more than 750 centers nationwide. Mentor Me now includes training modules for setting up and managing an online store using Voyager’s online store builder Tackthis!.
Meanwhile, Voyager’s virtual marketplace www.takatack.com will bring the MSMEs to the online world and to a wider market. The digital solutions to be provided also include logistics capability for the merchants to deliver the goods to their buyers.
Capital and financial support such as loans can be accessed via Voyager’s digital lending site Lendr. The platform assists businessmen applying for loans from banks and lending firms.
In addition, the partnership will also equip them with capabilities for mobile cashless transactions through the PayMaya QR payment option. The prepaid payment app uses a QR or quick response code technology for a more convenient way of purchasing goods.
“The advent of the digital space is a blessing in the sense that it gives financial and market inclusion,” said Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion.
Citing the smartphone as an example, Concepcion said, “The smartphone becomes even smarter and more powerful, with more banks moving into this platform. Innovation is what this country needs.”