A new program that aims to promote financial inclusion and resilience among Filipino micro-retailers has been launched by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Coca-Cola, and GCash.
The program, called Tatak Matatag na Negosyo, is a joint initiative that will provide training, mentoring, digital tools, and financial assistance to help small businesses grow and thrive in the face of challenges.
According to DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, the program is part of the government’s efforts to support the recovery and sustainability of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), which account for 99.5% of all businesses in the country and employ 63% of the workforce. He said that the program will help micro-retailers, such as sari-sari store owners, carinderia operators, and street vendors, to improve their business skills, access digital platforms, and avail of financial services.
TESDA Director General Isidro Lapeña said that the program will also offer free online courses on entrepreneurship, financial literacy, digital marketing, e-commerce, and other relevant topics for micro-retailers.
He said that the program will equip them with the knowledge and skills to adapt to the changing market demands and consumer preferences.
Coca-Cola Philippines President and General Manager Gareth McGeown said that the program is aligned with the company’s global vision of creating a world without waste and empowering women.
He said that Coca-Cola will provide micro-retailers with eco-friendly coolers, recycling bins, and reusable crates, as well as mentoring sessions on product management, inventory control, and customer service.
He added that Coca-Cola will also support women entrepreneurs through its 5by20 initiative, which aims to enable the economic empowerment of 5 million women across its value chain by 2020.
GCash President and CEO Martha Sazon said that the program will leverage the power of mobile technology to enable financial inclusion for micro-retailers.
She said that GCash will offer micro-retailers access to its mobile wallet platform, which allows them to accept digital payments, send and receive money, pay bills, buy load, and save money. She also said that GCash will provide micro-loans and insurance products to help micro-retailers cope with emergencies and risks.
The program will initially target 10,000 micro-retailers in Metro Manila, Cebu, Davao, and other key cities in the country. The program partners hope to expand the reach and impact of the program in the coming years and contribute to the development of a more inclusive and resilient economy for all Filipinos.