With the electronic commerce boom in the Philippines, small business owners can avail of free mentorship and digital skills training from Southeast Asia’s first SME superapp.
This came after Enstack recently partnered with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in the country’s bid to boost the digitization of MSMEs (Micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises), which constitute 99.5% of businesses in the country.
In its latest roadmap, the DTI targets the country to have one million e-commerce enterprises in 2022, or twice its 2020 baseline figure. The department also projected e-commerce to contribute 5.5% or P1.2 trillion to the country’s gross domestic product this year.
“We’ve seen the majority of small businesses have difficulty in today’s digital-first environment. Many are hesitant to digitize due to the perceived cost of tools, lack of time to implement them, and insufficient knowledge,” said Enstack co-founder and CEO Macy Castillo.
According to Enstack, small businesses likewise struggle with tracking expenses, managing inventory and generating sustainable income. The SME Superapp hopes to teach MSMEs how to digitally integrate their day-to-day processes such as basic accounting, inventory management and logistics.
Enstack also plans to host caravans in DTI’s Negosyo Centers, where small firm owners can get personalized counseling sessions in running their businesses online.
Negosyo centers are service hubs providing MSMEs with ease of doing business by helping them with their business registration and advisory services, among others. More than 1,300 negosyo centers have been set up nationwide, according to DTI’s website.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly transformed the way Filipinos consume goods and services. With digital consumers on the rise, there is a must to equip local MSMEs with the right tools, resources, and knowledge that enable them to keep up,” said Emma Asusano, program manager of DTI Negosyo Center.